general strikes in sierra leone

map of sierra leone

2005, january 3 - 4 - government agrees to all but two of trade unions' demands after two day strike
sierra leone's main union federation staged a two-day general strike in january to demand higher pay and better living conditions. the strike was called off after the government conceded some demands and agreed to negotiate others. these included a reduction in income taxes for low-income workers and an increase in the minimum wage of us$13 per month. the current minimum wage is no longer enough to buy a 50 kg bag of the country's staple food, rice.

the strikers, who brought business in the capital freetown to a standstill, also demanded a reduction in the price of fuel. the government tried to head off the strike by slashing pump prices by 20 percent on the eve of the strike.

taxis and buses stayed off the streets and most government offices and shops were shut. hospital workers and employees of the electricity and water company also walked out.

despite its mineral wealth, three-fourths of the country's five million people scrape by on an income of less than us$2 per day.

source: the industrial worker, february 2005.

the world : africa : sierra leone