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  • Thursday, 25 July 2024

"Sierra Leone: Leone Rock Metal Group Workers Strike Over Poor Conditions"

Workers at Leone Rock Metal Group in Sierra Leone have initiated a strike, citing deplorable working conditions as the primary reason for their protest. The company, which operates in iron ore mining, has faced criticism from its employees who feel neglected and mistreated despite their essential role in the company's operations.


The grievances voiced by the workers encompass a range of issues, including inadequate access to medical care, clean water shortages, and substandard toilet facilities at their mining sites in Peppel community, Port Loko District. Additionally, concerns over low wages and unsafe working environments have further fueled their dissatisfaction.


One of the workers, Momoh Kamara, highlighted disparities in wages, revealing that heavy-duty operators like himself earn One Million Five Hundred Thousand Old Leones monthly, whereas other laborers receive One Million Leones. This disparity underscores the perceived injustice among workers who also feel aggrieved at the differential treatment compared to foreign nationals, whom they have reportedly trained in heavy vehicle operations.


Efforts to resolve the standoff have involved the government, with Minister of Labour and Social Security Mohammed Rahman Swaray engaging in negotiations with Leone Rock management. Despite these talks, the workers have refused to resume their duties until their demands for improved wages, better working conditions, and transparent pay practices are met. They have also raised concerns about discrepancies in their pay slips, particularly regarding deductions for the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), which they claim have not been accurately reflected.


Minister Swaray acknowledged the legitimacy of the workers' grievances and assured that the government is committed to addressing their concerns, despite the ongoing strike. The situation remains tense as both sides seek a resolution that ensures fair treatment and improved conditions for the employees of Leone Rock Metal Group.


This strike highlights broader issues of labor rights and corporate responsibility within Sierra Leone's mining sector, prompting discussions not only about immediate labor conditions but also about long-term strategies for ensuring equitable treatment and sustainable practices in the industry.

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