Leadership Is Quality But…

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The Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Matilda W. Parker has told the Dock Workers Union of Liberia (DOWUL) that leadership is a quality that cannot be acquired from one person to another but has to come from oneself.

She made the assertion last Friday, March 27, when the management and Dock Workers Union of Liberia signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) at the Freeport of Monrovia.

Madam Parker indicated that leadership is about compromising but not letting go of your aspirations, noting that workers have found good leaders and as such, they have worked harder for the past three years in the best interest of the union.

 “Today is a historic day which has been long in coming; it has taken a lot for us to get here today. Everything that is good does not come easy. We’ve come a long way and I’m very proud to sign a document that represents the value that the National Port Authority constitutes for work,” Madam Parker indicated.

The NPA boss described a good leader as a person who is always willing and open to dialogue and signing of agreements without compromising the interests and aspirations of an institution.

Madam Parker attributed the signing of the CBA to the cooperation and exceptional role demonstrated by the leadership of DOWUL to improve the ports, adding: “NPA management will do all it can to strengthen the relationship between the two parties.”

She then encouraged the leadership of DOWUL to continue making meaningful strides which will positively impact members as well as provide them the opportunity to positively engage management on activities aimed at further strengthening the union.

Earlier in her statement, the president of DOWUL, Jackie N. Doe, described the signing of the CBA as a major milestone in the history of the union.

Madam Doe said that the signing of the “CBA should have been done in 2004,” but due to some unresolved matters between the management of the port and DOWUL it was delayed.”

In 2012, she said the leadership of the union began the process of negotiating with NPA management to address problems that were confronting the workers in the ILO Convention ‘98 on the rights to organize the CBA.

According to her, the process leading to the signing of the document was not all smooth but it took determination. She expressed appreciation that they had succeeded in reaching their objectives.

She said DOWUL will continue to tread the path of better working relationship with the management of the NPA for the betterment of employees and the labor sector of Liberia as a whole.

Naming some of the achievements, she said the NPA management will give a bag of rice to each employee at the end of the month; undertake renovation of all of its offices which is presently taking place; recreation has been provided to employees; participation of various teams: kickball, football and volleyball in the Inter-Ministerial league.

Others are: overtime which is now being paid to employees at the end of each month and Independence and Christmas bonuses are given to each employee, among others. 

The DOWUL was established in 1986 but was certificated as a trade union organization on November 15, 1996 by the Ministry of Labor to seek the welfare and protection of all employees of the National Port Authority, including all four ports of Monrovia, Buchanan, Greenville and Harper.

Its first official CBA signing ceremony was held under the leadership of Madam Grace-Tee Kpaan, former president of DOWUL and the late George E. Tubman, former Managing Director of NPA under the supervision of former board chairman Mr. Musa Bility on the 28th March 2008.

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