How good are Sierra Leone mining jobs ?
In Sierra Leone, many citizens are running after jobs provided by mining companies, while pay and conditions of service provided by these companies are still being contested.
There is a daily struggle for improvement of conditions of service for workers in the extractive industry.
‘’There is great inequality in the industry in this country,’’ Leslie Nboka, National Chairman of the Campaign for Just Mining in Sierra Leone told West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) at the weekend.
In the agitation for better pay and working conditions, lives are some times lost.
The most recent example is last week’s violent protest in Sierra Leone’s northern mining town of Bunbuna, where 3 people were killed, in the wake of a strike by the Africa Minerals Iron ore company. .
In the 2011 annual report posted on its website, Koidu Holdings mining company, the biggest diamond firm in the country said ’’we are committed to providing a work environment that is conducive to the safety and health of its employees in all its operations. The Company is committed to the achievement of a zero harm working environment.‘’
Koidu Holdings further says, ‘’the Company recognizes that every worker has the right to life and well-being and that everyone has a right and obligation to stop and correct unsafe acts and conditions.’’
For Africa Minerals company claims that it pays the highest in wages and better condition for its work force in the country. But the series of industrial actions by workers in the extractive sector lead many to asked how good are the jobs ?
WADR’s Freetown correspondent Mohamed Konneh speaks with a Sierra Leonean civil society advocate in the extractive industry, Leslie Nboka.
Click audio below to listen