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Cablegate: Strike by Central Bank Workers

VZCZCXRO0102
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHFN #0665 3111022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071022Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1500
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS FREETOWN 000665

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR AF/W

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN EAID ELAB PREL SL
SUBJECT: STRIKE BY CENTRAL BANK WORKERS


1. (U) The employees of the central Bank of Sierra Leone went
out on strike on Monday, November 5 in protest over salaries
and benefits. The workers say they intend to come to work
each day, stand in front of the headquarters building until
2:00 pm and then return home. The action potentially brings
Central Bank operations to a standstill. If the strike is
not resolved in a few days the commercial banking sector
could experience difficulties.

2. (U) The reasons given for the strike are primarily over
salary and benefits. The workers complain that they have not
received promised bonuses, they object to proposed changes in
rent allowance payments, and have expressed concern over
their National Social Security Insurance Trust system.
(Comment: We have learned from a senior government official
that partial payment of benefits has been made. Government
and workers are set to meet again on Friday, November 9. End
comment.)

3. (U) The strike by Central Bank employees is just one of a
number of actions by government employees. Local and
municipal government workers in Bo and Kenema have recently
struck. The teachers are also threatening to strike. All of
these groups express similar economic grievances.
PERRY

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