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Facebook contractors threaten to stop work over missing paychecks



Facebook contractors threaten to stop work over missing paychecks



Facebook moderators at an Accenture site in Austin are facing a payroll disaster; that has left many without their holiday paychecks.


Workers at the site handle moderation; customer service, and other tasks for Facebook and WhatsApp — and a work stoppage has already been threatened if the situation is not resolved.


The problems began as early as January 4th; when some workers noticed errors in the system that tracks paid time off (PTO), a clerical confusion that was attributed to a recent change in payroll providers at the site.


Things got more serious when the January 6th round of paychecks failed to arrive.


Internal pay stub systems showed many paychecks as zeroed out, and workers were left with no idea of when they might get their money.


In an open letter to the CEOs of Facebook and Accenture, posted on an internal message board; a group of workers pledged to halt work at the site until the paychecks were issued in full.


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“If these issues are not resolved immediately a work stoppage will be enacted,” the letter promised. “The work stoppage will begin on January 7th, 2022 if nothing is resolved.”


Several lump-sum payments were issued to affected workers shortly after the letter posted, and Accenture says; the company has not seen any indication of coordinated work stoppage at the site in the days since.


In a call with employees Saturday, a managing director at the Accenture site said he was unsure when the issue would be resolved; but the company would cover any late fees or overdraft charges incurred as a result of the delay. “You will be paid the amounts that you are due,” he said on the call, “and we will get that to you as quickly as we possibly can.”


Some workers have received lump-sum payments from the company; meant to tide them over until the full amount can be properly calculated. But employees at the site say not everyone has received those payments, and many are in desperate financial straits.


As of Monday night; one moderator at the Austin site said more than 50 people on his team still had not been paid.


“I know many who are behind on bills, utilities, food, and rent,” he told The Verge. “When you only get paid $16 an hour in a town like Austin, missing a check is like missing a leg.”


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The issue is particularly severe because of overtime pay and expenses incurred over the holidays; which have been lost in the shuffle between providers.


“Some employees have had to take out payday loans just so they could have enough money to buy food for their children,” another employee told The Verge.


Reached for comment, Accenture representative Stacey Jones emphasized that the company was working to resolve the problem.


“We recently switched payroll providers and experienced some unanticipated challenges; during our first payroll run with the new provider,” Jones told The Verge.


“Our number one priority since last week; has been getting our people who have experienced issues paid – and, we continue encouraging our people who need assistance to reach out to their supervisor or HR; so we can help them resolve.”


Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp) often subcontracts moderation and other personnel services to firms like Accenture; although the arrangement has been led to employee welfare in other instances.


A 2019 Verge investigation into an Accenture site in Austin moderating YouTube videos found managers often forced employees to work through breaks and forego vacations when facing high demand.


Reached for comment, Facebook confirmed the disruption and emphasized Accenture’s efforts to address it.


“Accenture has notified its employees of this issue,” said Meta representative Kadia Koroma, “and is working to resolve it as soon as possible.”



2 killed, houses burnt as suspected herdsmen attack Benue



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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

At least two persons have been reportedly killed after gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked Igama community in Ojugo wards, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.

Sources from the affected community disclosed that the gunmen invaded the community last Tuesday afternoon and burnt many houses. The invaders were said to have stormed the community in broad day light and shot sporadically in all directions while the locals scampered for safety.

When contacted on telephone, the Chairman of the council, Mrs Amina Audu, confirmed the report, saying it was the third time in the last two weeks that the attackers invaded her council. She told newsmen that the attack was perpetrated by herdsmen without any form of provocation.

“Fulani herdsmen came and attacked the community and burnt houses, and a woman was found dead after several days,” she said.

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Mrs Audu, who noted that the incident was reported to the police, said some security personnel were detailed to the area to forestall any breakdown of law and order, adding that men of the Livestock Guards were also sent to the area but the herders quickly ran away before the security men arrived.

“They have attacked the community for three consecutive times since January 13, 2022. They will just come into the community and attack them. They normally come in the afternoon. It is because the security people have been stationed on ground that we did not record many casualties.”

Audu, however, disclosed that those who were killed were immediately buried because their bodies were already decaying by the time they were found. The council boss appealed to the Federal Government to urgently rise to the occasion and stop the marauding herders from taking innocent lives.

When contacted, the Benue Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to receive any information about the incident.


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Anti-open Grazing Law: Bayelsa govt goes tough on violators,



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From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State government has clamped down on violators of the Anti-open Grazing Law in the state.

To this end, it arrested 44 cows found grazing along Imiringi road, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Douye Diri had on March 10, 2021 signed into law the Anti-open Grazing Law known as Livestock Breeding Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law.

He also set up the Livestock Management Committee headed by the Commissioner for Agricultural Resources, Mr David Alagoa, with members drawn from the security agencies.

However, many farmers in Imiringi, Elebele and Emeyal in Ogbia Local Government Area, Tombia and Okutukutu in Yenagoa Local Government Area have been complaining of the destructive activities of cows despite the law.

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The farmers had lodged their complaint to Alagoa and the state task force to help arrest the situation before things got out of hand.

Alagoa had during a patrol at the weekend arrested the cows, while the herders escaped into the bush to evade arrest.

The arrest followed a complaint to the task force by farmers along Imiringi road near Megastar camp where the cows were said to have destroyed crops.

Alagoa said the task force would continue to take action to demonstrate that the state government would not condone flouting of its laws.

Meanwhile one of the farmers, Mr Tempo, explained that his farm at Elebele where he planted maize and cassava was destroyed by cows.

He urged the state government to take more action because any farmer that tries to confront the herders is usually threatened with attack.


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Boko Haram, ISWAP recruiting child soldiers – Army



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The Nigerian Army said it was studying the video of the Islamic State West Africa Province children fighters executing its personnel.

The video released by the ISWAP, according to the , was published on Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activities.

In the video, a man in the Nigerian Army uniform, who claimed that he was with the army special forces, was shot twice in the head by a boy of about 12.

Shortly after, another soldier, who said he was captured in April 2021, was shot in the head by one of the three masked fighters behind him.

Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that the action of the terrorists had been a long time practice in terrorism across the world.

He said the terrorists were trying to embark on recruitment drive with the video as many of their fighters had surrendered to troops.

Nwachukwu stated, “We are studying the video. However, the action of the terrorists has been a long time practice in terrorism across the globe.

“They have always taken advantage of the vulnerable in society, particularly women and children, to advance their evil cause.

“Recall that the terrorist groups, ISWAP/Boko Haram, have in the past used women and children as suicide bombers. They have also conscripted children and minors, who they engage as child soldiers, and women, who they use as sex slaves.

“Having been depleted by our troops, the imbroglio in their ranks and the massive surrendering of Boko Haram, the terrorists in a desperate move are embarking on a recruitment drive to shore up their strength with child soldiers, who they can easily indoctrinate, manipulate and cheaply manage financially.

“We have raised this alarm before now and have since commenced sensitisation in the North-East to guard against and block their recruitment drive.”

Nwachukwu urged residents of the North-East not to be deceived by the gimmicks of ISWAP terrorists into releasing their children and wards for their evil cause.

He assured them that troops would remain resolute in decisively countering the terrorists.

AP had quoted the Executive Director, SITE Intelligence Group, Rita Katz, as saying that ISIS “is now more desperate than ever to keep its name in the global discussion…given the fact that it no longer has a physical ‘caliphate’ outside of relatively small bases in different countries.”

The video, she said, “demonstrates the immense focus ISIS is placing on Africa” and puts a “spotlight on Nigeria as one of its strongholds and projecting itself as an adaptive, enduring force to the world.”

The UN children’s agency estimates that globally, more than 93,000 children were recruited and used in conflicts between 2005 and 2020.


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