By Girmay Gebru
MEKELE, ETHIOPIA (VOA) — An estimated 400 Chinese employees on strike for the past two weeks at the Messebo Cement Factory in Mekele charge some have suffered physical injuries in clashes with company officials over wages.
[Messebo is one of the 60 mega-million-dollar companies in Ethiopia that is controlled by Meles Zenawi’s wife, Azeb Mesfin.]
Ethiopian Woyanne federal police have now placed tight security around Mesebo cement factory expansion being operated by Hafie Cement Research and Design Institute and the subcontractor, Jention.
The workers told VOA that 800 birr, a portion of their monthly wages, is paid to them but the rest of their salary which was to be deposited in their individual accounts is missing. Some of the workers said there was no money in their account for the last three months.
The contractor said they will be paid for their effort and that the two sides will meet to discuss the dispute soon.