By Yunus S Saliu
The head of Basse Bridge Construction Company and Sou Xun Enterprise have jointly reacted to complaints lodged by 44 labourers working with them.
An article published in one local daily last week stated: “44 former employees of Sou Hung Enterprise, a company that is constructing the Basse Bridge have sued the company for not paying them. The 44 were drivers, welders, operators and others who worked in different areas for the Chinese company. The 44 claimants said they were all employees of the Chinese company and were asked to stay at home by the company owing to Covid-19. They said they were placed on monthly salary by the company, but when Covid-19 came, the company asked them to stay at home.”
The article went on to state: “The 44 former employees said their employment was terminated after they started demanding for their employment contracts. In this respect, they said their former employers hired new people without giving them notice of termination of their contract.”
However, in an interview Mr Jiang, the head of the Basse Bridge Construction Company disclosed that the report is not related to his company.
He explained: “The matter is unrelated to our company. Our company signed a labour sub-contract with Sou Xun Enterprise which is a registered labour company in The Gambia and there is no employment relationship with the 44 workers.”
Mr Jiang explained further that according to Sou Xun Company, they match the appropriate number of qualified workers according to the progress of the project. He said the dispute between the labour company and its employed workers was solved by Sou Xun company.
Mr Wang, head of Sou Xun company confirmed that the 44 workers were hired by his company, including 11 others who opted to leave due to salary issues.
“Our company has since settled all their wages before their departure. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, all the workers left after all their wages were paid. As far as we are concerned, there is no breach of contract because we settled all their wages before they left. We will respond to the lawsuit as required and solve the matter through law,” he said.