• September 6, 2023

MACCEM, ROCKCEM Bleed Workers in Silence

MACCEM, ROCKCEM Bleed Workers in Silence
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It has been reported that unemployed youths in a mad rush for private sector jobs have resulted to the private sector taking advantage of them by violating national and international labour laws with regards how they treat workers at MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories.

Workers of the abovementioned cement factories have decided to keep sealed lips on the violations of labour laws and their human rights, as government labour inspectors have also degenerated to mere beggars to the managements of MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories. The unethical conducts of labour inspectors have rendered them useless and having outlived the purpose for which they were hired and are being paid by government.

Reliable info reaching FORUM NEWS-SL have it that workers of both cement factories continue to battle with their managements on their unwillingness to incorporate them into the government’s National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) scheme.

Causal workers at both MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories informed FORUM NEWS-SL that have served as causal workers for more than two years, which is in contravention of the country’s labour laws. It is required by law that Sierra Leoneans who have served both companies for a period of six months must be regularised as permanent staff of both factories.

Due to the fumes of clinker and limestone dust that normally engulfs the factories, workers in production and distribution channels are always exposed to contaminated air polluted by both MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories.

Hence the reasons why it is mandated by law for industries of such nature to be constantly supplying powder milk and protective gears to both causal and permanent workers, which FORUMNEWS-SL was hinted are not forthcoming.

According to an anonymous labour inspector who spoke to FORUM NEWS-SL, the exposure of factory workers to harmful industrial chemicals by both MACCEM and ROCKCEM are gross violations of their labour and human rights. He described the situation as an age old problem that past and present governments are still unable to address.

He continued that their hands are tied when it comes to exposing labour and human rights violations in industries and factories across the country.

‘We labour inspectors have attempted in many instances to bring to light labour and human rights violations ongoing in industries because we normally receive calls from senior staffs of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security to drop such matters,’ he explained.

He added that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, birds have also learnt to fly without patching, he said in a proverb, which could be interpreted as since the line Ministry of Labour finds it legal to compromise with the managements of these factories, the labour inspectors have also decided to turn blind eyes to labour and human rights violations.

All is not well for those Sierra Leoneans working with both MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories but they dear not complain for fear of losing their job, which is extremely difficult to come by in Sierra Leone of late.

Much of MACCEM and ROKCEM factories’ Corporate Social Responsibilities are not visible in their communities of operation where residents are bearing the brunt of the clinker dust, according to what FORUM NEWS-SL observed via random samplings during recent visits.

Like in the abundance of water, the fool is still thirsty as in the lyrics of late Bob Marley, Up Gun, Bai Bureh Road, Ferry Junction among others are faced with similar challenges of having two major cement importers, yet they remain largely deprived of major basic social amenities that would have served as physical evidence of MACCEM and ROCKCEM factories’ operations in those communities.

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