Toll Road Strike Action Ends


West African Operations and Management Company (WAOMC) Hastings Toll Gate Station Agent lhaji has told the press that the strike action that happened on Monday was unfortunate and uncalled for since there are better ways to handle such issues without letting the public interfere.

The letter of concern that the workers sent to WAOMC since, was only received through Whatsapp last Friday.

He made this disclosure on Tuesday during an interview at their Hastings office. Alhaji said “Concerning their salaries, yes it is true that their basic is Le600,000, but with other benefits including rent, transport, food and medical allowances they receive a gross take home of Le1.2 to Le1.5 million due to their different working schedules.

He said according to labor laws and WAOMC, conditions of service of every new contract will be improved as the job continues.”

Information from a source that joined the meeting on Monday said that some of the reasons for the strike were that the staff representatives are calling for right to represent themselves during management meeting. The letter of concern mentions that the company should allow them to sleep during the night shift.

This was kicked against by the Labor Minister, Adekunle King who told them that how can you come to work and want to sleep when on duty. He told them that they have the whole day to rest and when they go to work at night it means they are not going there to sleep but to work.

The Minister also mentioned that the point system initiated by WAOMC is a good system, which is an incentive to make them work harder because those that score more points will have more bonus than the lazy ones.

According to labor laws of the country, workers most give their employer twenty-one days notice before they embark on any strike action, unfortunately the striking workers failed to adhere to this law. At the meeting, ministers said that the strike that happened was illegally. Staffs of WAOMC have the right to share their concerns and issues to management and also going forward, collectors should choose a proper way to show their dissatisfaction and concerns.

It’s clear that the tolling system has three shifts of eight hours daily and the collectors have the right to eat during their work hours when traffic is less.

“It is an international norm that toll collectors must not carry their phones when they are on duty. From the management side we hope our staff can respect their duty and understand the roll of the job to give the best service to society.”

During the meeting with the representative of the strike team, four ministers were present – Minister of Internal Affairs Edward Suluku; Minister of Labor Adekunle King; Minister of Transport Kabineh Kallon and Minister Works Raymond D’souza George.

All of them were present and they made sure that the workers understood the labor laws and they promised to meet with WAOMC again soon so that the new contract will be amicable and accepted by all.

The leaders of the workers accepted all the advice and instructions given to them as they promised to make sure that they will try to do peaceful dialogue in the future.

Alhaji said during the strike, they had to open the road freely so that there will be no traffic jam and they see it as a loss to the company, the government and we the staff as well.