Beneficiaries of the government’s youth in afforestation programme under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) have besieged the premises of the Forestry Commission (FC) over unpaid allowances.
The beneficiaries who last week gave the government a one-week ultimatum to pay their allowance have also begun a sit-down strike over the delayed payment.
Coordinator for the aggrieved beneficiaries, Shaban Abdul Kadir told Starr News that most of them haven’t been paid for close to five months saying: “To be honest we are going hungry. We go to the bushes without insurance, some of our colleagues are being beaten by snakes, some being cut by cutlasses and others. Nothing to protect us.”
“Aside Ashanti Region, the other nine Regions aren’t having their logistics, that’s the cutlasses, wellington boots and others to protect them and work with. So it seemed they just gave us the appointment letter without attaching any seriousness to it. So we are beginning a sit-down strike today, Monday, October 8, 2018.”
Asked how long the sit-down-strike will last, he said: “Per our plan, we are sitting down from today, Monday, October 8, 2018, up to Friday and if the allowances are still not paid then hopefully the following week we will follow it up with a nationwide demonstration.”
Meanwhile, government has last month announced a slash in their allowance in order to accommodate the cost involved in paying workers of the newly introduced Nation Builders Corps (NABCo).
The allowance for supervisors, according to Starr News sources, has been slashed from the monthly GHC1, 200.00 to GHC700.00.
A statement from the Director Operations of the program Hugh Brown said: “the allowances for beneficiaries have been revised in order to align compensation package of the program with other related initiatives as the Nation Builders Corps.”
The revised allowances took effect from October 1, 2018. Beneficiaries are to accept the revised over in writing before they will be covered for payment.