The workers union of ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) staged a go-slow action on May 10, 2023, in demand of salary increment and the settlement of salary disparity.
The aggrieved workers brought down all the mining equipment from up the mine and halted all other operations at the port of Buchanan as well as other places where the company is operating.
The workers’ union has been demanding equal work, equal salary from the management of Arcelor Mittal on many occasions, until last December when they requested the Labor Ministry permission to lay down tools so as to claim AML’s attention in accordance with the Decent Work Law.
In the letter written last year to the Labor Ministry, the aggrieved workers said, “The United Workers Union of Liberia is constrained to bring to your attention that we are exhausted all efforts over the past months to bring AML to reaching an agreement on Annexure 'E' 5.1& 5.2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which talks about salary/wages.”
They explained in the letter that Annexure E of the CBA addresses equal work for equal salary and equal value, something they are seeking the Ministry of Labor's permission, according to the decent work bill, to lay down all tools until their demands are met.
“We want to guide ourselves under section 41.1 and 41.3 of the Decent Work Bill Act of 2015 to request the Ministry of Labor to strike at the AML on December 3, 2022,” they said.
The workers, in a separate letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of Mittal during the same period, the workers said, “Over eight months since the signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), two key components of issues, which should have been negotiated within 90 days between two parties, has not been concluded,” they said.
Despite all these letters, it appears as though the Management of AML is yet to adhere to the demand of the aggrieved workers, leaving them with no alternative but to take a go-slow action.
AML confirmed the strike action which, according to them, occurred in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
“Some employees of ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) in Yekepa and Buchanan engaged in industrial action, stalling the company's production and operations in both locations, posing a risk to our employees,” the company’s communication department said.
“As we monitor the situation closely, the safety and security of our employees, the community, and our contractors will continue to be of top priority,” they added.
The management said it has been in contact with the Ministry of Labor and representatives of the workers’ union to schedule a meeting with all parties to find a resolution.