By: Ilyasa Baa
The Minister of Labour has said he has received the final computation to process payment for some former workers of the old Lungi International Airport who held protest over their end of service benefits.
Hon. Alpha Timbo noted that he would have to review the final computation submitted to his Ministry last Friday together with the lined Transport and Aviation Ministry which has been dealing with the airport issue.
According to him, he had summoned the management of the Suma Company adding that, they have reached to an agreement to retain workers to work with the new airport operators. He said the process is ongoing assuring that, his Ministry would ensure that the needful is done so the workers could get their benefits as soon as possible.
“You have to exercise patience with the process and allow us to go through the process”, said Alpha Timbo.
He added that he had made it known to the company that the Trade Union Representative who complained that he was not allowed to sit on and discuss the issue, be allowed to sit in the meetings to discuss the issue. He pointed out that he had addressed the aggrieved former workers of the Lungi Airport to exercise patience with the process as modalities are being worked out for the issue to be settled amicably.
Unconfirmed reports reaching this medium indicate that the police have arrested some of the aggrieved protesters together with the Trade Unionist representing the workers for what police believe did not follow due process.
It could be recalled that early in March, President Bio commissioned the Freetown International Airport giving the country a facelift as the new airport has the potential to attract thousands of passengers more than before. The New Freetown International Airport is now the country’s main gate way to development and prosperity. However, the government has received mixed reactions for the privatization of the airport to a Turkish owned company which has been ready to spend over $270 Million to put the airport to international standard. unlike the USD 270 Million cost for the Freetown International Airport, the Mamamah airport project by the former government would have cost the country over $300 million in loan to the Chinese.