ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) has accepted a recommendation from the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Labour, to provide jobs for Diaspora Liberian professionals, instead of prioritizing expatriates.
This move by the global steel giant comes on the back of hefty engagements between the concessionaire and the government of President George M. Weah, in ensuring that there are fruitful and practical results from efforts the government is exerting in making sure that Liberians have access to more decent work. ArcelorMittal recently scaled up its operations in Liberia with a US$800 million new concession agreement.
ArcelorMittal accepted this worthwhile recommendation during a well-attended successful meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at the Labour Ministry in Monrovia. The steel company divulged that it currently has sixty-four (64) expatriates in its employ, which it said is associated with huge financial costs ranging from remuneration to other employment benefits.
The new chapter, which is being heralded by Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, who’s leading waves of reforms in Liberia’s labour sector, seems to be a win-win situation as Liberians living abroad will have opportunity to return home to be placed into well-paying jobs, while on the other hand, ArcelorMittal will save costs of maintaining expatriates it brings in to work here [Liberia].
The partnership agreement will exist in a way that AML will collaborate with the Labour Ministry in terms of jobs availability that requires high level expertise of consummate professional Liberians living abroad, meaning the Government will now play key roles in ArcelorMittal’s recruitment processes. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), will also play an integral role in terms of processing the travel and return home of the Diaspora Liberians.
To this effect, the Country Representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mohammed Charif Dialo, attended Thursday’s meeting between the Labour Ministry and ArcelorMittal. The concessionaire, for her part, was represented by the Human Resource Manager Madam Rose Kingston, and Marcus Wleh, who is the Manager for Government Relations, while the Labour Minister, Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, who presided over the meeting, had in attendance the Director of the Minimum Wage Board, Jerome Kollie. In separate remarks, they all expressed optimism that the latest turn in the iron ore company’s co-existence with the Liberian government and job provision for the citizens will make the desired impact.
The Labour Minister has meanwhile reaffirmed his unflinching relentlessness commitment to stabilizing the labour market, creating employment opportunities, child protection against sexual and labour abuse, and fighting against human trafficking. The Labour Minister wants Liberians to see the move by ArcelorMittal as a challenge to make themselves marketable in industrial work disciplines.