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15th August 2018

APC Backed Chinese Mines Giant Shandong Steel Closing Down for Fear of the SLPP Govt!

By a press release (22/04/18)

Is the closure of Chinese Shandong Steel effected by the emergence of the SLPP government which they fear might harm their business?


Questions like these will continue as startling report of the Chinese owned company Shandong Steel's temporal or permanent closure end of this week was made public. (Photo: Former APC President Ernest Koroma with his Chinese investors).

Reports from Freetown have indicated that all staff members of the mining giant residing at camps in their operational areas like Pepel in the north of the country and other areas are to vacate as soon as possible before the closure date.

The reason for the sudden and temporary or permanent closure of the Shandong Steel Company is not immediately known, but sources close to some workers in the Port Loko area in northern Sierra Leone say it may be connected with the drop in the price of the iron ore in the world market. (Photo below: Sierra Leone workers - in the Bai Bureh Canteen - will feel the brunt if the firm is shut down).

Others say it may be connected with the change of government from APC to SLPP, which the Chinese businessmen see as unsuitable for their business interests. The Chinese have always been comfortable business partners with the APC government unlike the SLPP government under the presidency of President Julius Maada Bio.

In a meeting on Friday April 13, 2018 at their No 22A Spur Road Head Office in Freetown, the workers were told by their employers that all those workers on administrative leave and others awaiting redundancy will be given partial payments of end of service benefits.

A cross section of those who attended the Friday meeting told the press that when they were informed about the partial payments, there arose disenchantments here and there which they alleged was completely contrary to the initial agreements they made when they took over from the now defunct Africa Minerals.

According to documents seen by this media, Shandong Steel agreed that the full end of service benefits would be paid to any staff leaving the company. (Photo: Ex-President Koroma and former Mines Minister Minkailu Mansaray, 1st right, with the Chinese investors in Freetown).

The questionnaire dated July 2015 explains all: "SD Steel company will not pay you end of service benefits now but your past entitlements will be inherited and acknowledge by SD Steel. You will be paid the full end of service benefit when you leave the company in the future."

Courtesy: Global Times newspaper Sierra Leone


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