|Barrick Gold blamed for neglecting sick workers|
by Joseph Mchekadona, the Guardian (Tanzania)
December 15th, 2011
African Barrick Gold (ABG) sick workers and some ex-workers residing in Dar es Salaam have complained about ill-treatment by their management and also of substandard services at the hotel they are residing.
Speaking at the ABG headquarters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the sick workers, most of who are complaining about backbone sickness, said the ABG management had not listened to their claims and had not solved them.
They said they were not treated well at the hotel located in Kariakoo area, where they were currently residing.
The patients are receiving medical treatment at Muhimbili National Hospital and Agha Khan Hospital.
ABG rented a hotel in Kariakoo where 20 sick workers and ex-workers are being accommodated while attending to medical treatment in Dar es Salaam.
Representatives of the sick workers, Haji Harun Luge, Moses Michael and Khalfan Hamid said the hotel they had been staying for the past seven months was not good for sick people like them.
The workers also complained that the management of the hotel denied them a chance to see their family members, who visited them and refused them to have guardians with them at the hotel.
“We have been staying at that hotel but the facilities and the services we get don’t suit our health situation. The hotel is too poor for sick people like us,” said Haji Harun Luge.
They said they had been complaining to ABG management over the hotel situation but the management had not taken any action.
They also said ABG had not been taking care of their families by providing money for their daily survival since they arrived in Dar es Salaam for treatment, claiming that the move had caused divorce to some of them.
Khalfan Hamid said ABG examined before recruiting workers but when they fell sick they were told their illness was not work related.
For her part, ABG Internal Communications Officer Blandina Munghezi said the workers were not following proper channels to express their grievances. She noted that her company would sort out the matter soon.
“We didn’t know that there are such problems at the hotel but because they have come here, I promise we will solve this problem,” she said.