By Alhaji Saidu Kamara……………………………..
Five Sierra Leonean Cabin Attendants working for Arik Airline in Nigeria are currently stranded in Nigeria as the company is unable to pay them their backlog salaries and allowances.
One of the disgruntled Sierra Leoneans, Mr. Daniel Will in a telephone interview with the Global Times yesterday revealed that prior to their predicament they were working as Cabin Attendants at the Sierra Leone National Airlines before they were prevailed upon by some Sierra Leonean Pilots including one Captain Bailor to work in Nigeria for Arik Airline.
He said initially things were going on fine but later they started experiencing delay in the payment of their salaries and allowances.
Mr. Will said the airline owns them for 27 months in salaries and allowances. According to him each of them should have received about twenty thousand United States Dollars ($20,000).
Mr. Will said all efforts to get their money have proved unsuccessful. He said Captain Bailor who fast tracked their working arrangement to Nigeria has abandoned them and he is now working for the Rwanda Airline.
He said since 2015 to date no salaries and allowances have been paid to them. Daniel Will said they are still occupying the housing facilities provided by the company as part of their condition of service.
When the Global Times contacted the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma aka Logus, he confirmed that the Sierra Leonean Cabin Attendants are facing a crisis situation in Nigeria.
He said the situation could be attributed to a financial crisis the company is facing and several other challenges.
Mr. Koroma said that the government through the Sierra Leone High Commission in Nigeria and the Director of Aviation here in Sierra Leone are making frantic efforts to resolve the issue and bring the stranded Cabin Attendants back to Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Arik Airline workers in Sierra Leone have also been abandoned because the carrier has suspended its operations in Sierra Leone due to administrative challenges.