Heineken sends Sierra Leone workers on leave

The Heineken brewing group has sent workers at its Sierra Leone subsidiary on leave because of the Ebola epidemic.

A planned extension of the Sierra Leone brewery, in which Heineken has an 83% stake, has also been put on hold.

‘The Ebola virus disease has severely affected our operations in terms of sales, production and manpower’ spokesperson for the brewery Aminata Kasim-Carew told Bloomberg on Monday.

Sales have gone down by 70% and workers were sent home because there simply isn’t enough to do. According to Kasim-Carew, workers will continue to be paid but 24,000 jobs could be at risk among distributors, transporters and other contractors.

The governments of hardest hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are expecting a 50% drop in economic growth because of the epidemic which so far has claimed the lives of 4,500 West Africans.

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