By Alhagie F.S Sora
Timber labourers mainly in Brikama, Farato, and Busumbala told Foroyaa yesterday that management has reneged on their agreement to pay D10,000 for loading a container. They say that management now pays them D8,000 per container instead.
On Thursday 10 July, the labourers called on their colleagues to go on a sit down strike until their demand for wage increase is met. After subsequent negotiations, the labourers told Foroyaa on Monday 14 July that management had accepted their request for an increment in pay from D7000 to D10, 000 per container.
However, on Saturday 19 July 2014, the spokesperson of the group, Bamba Njie, told Foroyaa that the management is now paying them D8000 instead of 10,000 which they agreed on.
He said they are still calling on the authorities to come to their aid to mediate between them and the management. He added that their job is very risky, pointing out that they have people who lost their lives when the logs fell on them, noting others have sustained serious injuries but are yet to receive compensation.
He further stated that their colleagues who work elsewhere in Guinea are better paid. He added that those people are paid the equivalent of D15,000 to D20,000 per container for the same type of work.
He said, “Those who know the work we do know that it is very risky, we encounter loss of life and serious injuries because we rely on manpower to load the logs. We feel that we are under paid and exploited.”
Meanwhile, another worker, Alagi Njie who said he lost his finger while loading a container, said the management is yet to facilitate his treatment. He stressed that his medical bill is funded by himself and his colleague.
Mr. Yun the Chinese proprietor when contacted by phone yesterday, said they do not work on Sunday, but asked Foroyaa to get in touch with him today.