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Injured CICO employee fears payoff

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A man claiming to be a wounded employee of the China Chongqing International Construction Company or CICO has expressed apprehension about payoff plan prepared by the management of CICO for him.

Mr. Joseph D. Harris told newsmen recently in Margibi County that his name has been placed on the company’s payoff list, which is not good, giving his current health condition. According to him, one of his colleagues informed him days after he was involved in an accident while at work that the company has decided to pay him off.

Mr. Harris said his fear is based on the fact that if his health condition did not improve and the CICO management pays him off, the firm could abandon him. He claims that already, the company is paying less attention to his health though he is still in its employed, wondering what more if he were paid off.

Mr. Harris told a local daily recently that since he sustained injury while performing a task at work, he has not received thorough medication. He narrated that when the incident occurred on Sunday, June 19, some of his workmates transported him in a private vehicle to a health center in Soul Clinic Community, Paynesville City because the company allegedly refused to provide a vehicle to take him to the clinic.

He continued that management only provided fares that could transport him to and fro, something he said was not fair. He narrated that upon his return to Weala, the management informed him to go to the company’s mini-clinic at the Weala site every morning for treatment without giving him a cent for transportation.

He pointed out that since his return, he has not received adequate treatment at the clinic. Mr. Harris claims he was compelled by one of the Chinese staffs to climb on a concrete or mortar board to remove concrete from the board with an eight pound sledge-hammock According to him, he told the Chinese worker that he was unable to perform the task because he has no knowledge of that task, besides it was not within his scope of duty, claims the Chinese expatriate threatened to take his time card to the company’s head office, if he had refused to perform the task given him in addition to allegedly insulting his (Joseph D. Harris) mother.

The victim added that with fear of being dismissed or not being marked for that day, he went into the board and started the cleaning process, but unfortunately for him, one of his workmates who he did not see unexpectedly reversed the truck that was parked under the board thus, forcing him between the truck and the board, a situation that left him unconscious.

Mr. Harris said the only way he was rescued from between the truck and the card board was to deflate the tires of the truck and untied the board. The company uses the concrete board to mix mortar for side walk pavement, he explained. When contacted, the Human Resource Manager of CICO Jacqueline Sogbandi said, she has no knowledge about one of her workers being involved in accident, but promised to launch an investigation.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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