In March 2017, the Labour Minister – Matthew Teambo intervened thrice, to dialogue with the two sides. After a close look into the matter, the Labour Minister vividly condemned ADDAX Bio – energy Company for what he referred to as ‘flouting the Labour Laws of Sierra Leone’.
He unconditionally recommended that the Company reinstates the twelve former staff; pay their backlog salaries and have them compensated for intimidation and abuse of their rights.
Due to the reluctance of the Company, the Labour Minister handed the matter to a very senior staff at the Labour Ministry called Dumbuya – for continuation, through which the Management of the Company agreed to succumb to the minister’s recommendation for reinstatement of the former staff; payment of their backlog salaries plus their compensation – but to no avail.
To – date, the twelve have gone for almost forty – two months without pay. To their dismay, the Management only attempted paying two months of their backlog salaries, without any tangible reason given.
Along the line, the Company is insisting that it will not honour the payment of Frank Bassie, who was head of the twelve accused persons, because he was a senior staff; arguing that it is against the laws of the Company for a senior staff to be paid a benefit.
So far, the twelve have decided to take legal action against the Company for their monies; and a number of them have begun expressing worries and concerns, saying: “We are made to understand that the Chief Justice is showing interest in the matter. But on which grounds is the show of the Chief Justice’s interest without our consent?”
The ADDAX Bio – energy Company was established in the north part of Sierra Leone to produce ethanol, thus commenced operations sometime in 2010. But the Company’s operations are believed to have undermined the livelihood of the indigenes in the surrounding communities before it was bailed out by Sun – Bird, which is now in full operations.
More on the story in subsequent editions…