Cocopa Worker’ Union Inducts New Crop of Officers

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The Cocopa Workers’ Union on Saturday 22nd February 2014 inducted new corps of officers to steer the affairs of the union for the next two years.

The leadership vowed to push for the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the management and the union.

The CBA calls for the implementation of several things, including the construction of high school, the construction of modern housing facilities for workers, construction of elementary schools in some of the camps, the establishment social activities within the plantation and many more.

The new union administration also outlines several development plans for the benefit of the union, including the construction of union offices, the changing of ID card to Biometric one and called on fellow workers to join hands in improving the union instead of sitting and backbiting.

Sarpkah Mah, the inducted president, said their interaction  with management must reflect the labor law of Liberia.

Under the LIBCO management, Cocopa Plantation had been marred by violence since 2005 with persistent stealing of rubbers which left the death of one community member in 2008.

Our correspondent in Nimba said the Plantation Workers’ Union is believed to be one of violent worker unions in Liberia.

In 2008, the worker’s union allegedly flogged the then Manager Joseph Johnson during a violent protest in demand of better wages.

Last year, the workers went on strike violently destroying some of the key facilities including the central office windows, the home of one of the managers where his dog was killed.

As of present, the head office is yet to be renovated since that demonstration, although the new management is installing window bars and others since they took over.

The Plantation is now the management of Nimba Rubber Inc/NRI since last year December after the Government of Liberia won a case against the former LIBCO Management which ran the concession for almost seven decays.

Those inducted into office include, Sarkpah Mah, president, Alphonso Luogon vice president, Victor Zarlee, General Secretary, Kou Paye, Treasurer, Sam Wongan, grievance chairman and among others.

Those attending the ceremony include several officials of government, including Representative Larry P. Younquoi of Nimba District # 8.

However, Rep. Younquoi urged the union to be constructive in their approach to the company management.

He promised to insure that those who were dismissed illegal without benefit get their redress and take up the issue with the management surrounding workers who worked up to 1990 and since then their status are yet to be known; whether they dismissed, retire and can be recall back to works.

“Don’t be too close to the administration; let there be line, he admonished the leader.

The outgoing head Darius Kouh who contested and lost union election in December last year was accused by some workers that he was no longer seeking their interest but rather siding with the management by seeking his own interest.

 

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