Aspirant, Wife Accused of Bad Labor Practices

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Aggrieved textile employees say they have not been paid for several months; Employer says complaint is politically motivated

Aggrieved employees of JAMCOD, a textile printing company, have accused the CEO and General Manager, Crayton O. Duncan, and his wife Jamillia of refusing to pay them for several months though they (employees) have been dutiful on the job.

The employees of the textile and printing establishment at ELWA Junction that does business with a lot of schools and businesses requiring uniforms, brought their grievances to the Daily Observer yesterday claiming that they have not been paid since December 2016.

The employees said the business is managed by Mrs. Duncan, who they said has often been at odds with them. However, according to them, her husband Crayton, who is the former Chief of Staff to former Central Bank Governor Dr. Joseph Mills Jones and a legislative aspirant in Sinoe County District #1, pretends to intervene “but is not reliable as he has promised on several occasions to pay us but always reneges when time comes.”

According to graphics designer Christopher B. Dompo, since he started working for JAMCOD in December, he has not received his pay. “I have waited on my pay for this long owing to the fact that we received payments from groups like Salvation Army, who paid the company US$20,000, DRIMS Academy that paid us US$7,000, David Barshell School System or Royal Kids School, US$10,000, and a whole lot more payments. I used to double as an accountant after the accountant quit, so I know about some of the payments that came in. I was patient because several times she will even fill out the pay request forms only to disappoint us at the end,” he said.

Speaking to thirteen (13) of the employees that trooped to the Daily Observer office in Paynesville to state their case, they said they have tried every other means to get their pay, even going as far as doing extra work at the home of owner Jamillia Duncan, to no avail.

According to a letter written to the Minister of Labor, Neto Z. Lighe, Sr. dated March 16, 2017, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, the employees, who claimed they were illegally dismissed, said that despite several calls made to the Duncans for their pay, they have not received their wages for the time worked. Apart from the ministry, the employees said that they have been to LBS and even held protests at the establishment in Paynesville, without getting any resolution to their problems.

“While we were at Labor Ministry, Crayton called and rubbished our case. After that we went there so many times, but we didn’t make any progress. The husband and wife made a boast to Mulbah Kesselely of LBS that no matter where we take them, nothing will happen to them,” said tailor Alberta Smith.

Speaking on labor practices at JAMCOD, the employees alleged that Mrs. Duncan subtracts tax withholdings from their pay each month and even have a birthday susu program where she deducts money from their pay to give to the person collecting the susu that month, with many claiming they never received their share. For Alberta Smith, she said that Mrs. Duncan would take some of them to her home to do housework for which they were never paid. They also alleged that they never filled out employment forms and that monies collected from debtors were used to buy campaign materials, including motorbikes, for her husband’s representative bid in Sinoe County District #1. They claimed that out of 150 employees at the establishment at one point, there are presently two employees still hanging on.

Many of the aggrieved workers said apart from their outstanding salaries, they were and are still frequently verbally insulted by Mrs. Duncan on the job — at times going as far as insulting their parents, an act thy have always frowned upon and at times complained about to her husband.

When contacted for comments, Mrs. Duncan did not deny nor confirm the allegations but indicated that the aggrieved are a group of people who have abandoned their obligations on numerous occasions, and were unfit for their respective positions.

She also indicated that the issues with the employees are labor related, for which she has always instructed them to take her to the Labor Ministry if they want to seek redress. “These are group of people that I decided to help but they are showing that they don’t deserve help. I personally helped some of them, give them clothes, take them to my house during parties and identify with them personally. Now I know that Liberians don’t deserve help.”

She further indicated that the former employees’ actions are politically motivated. “They are doing this because they know that my husband is contesting in the upcoming elections in Sinoe, this is why they are doing this. But as I said, let them take me to labor,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, attempts to reach Mr. Duncan were fruitless because his phone numbers were switched off.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have known Mr. Duncan to be a trustworthy and hardworking man and sincerely speaking hearing this is very surprising.
    I hope he can step in to resolved this matter urgently and restore his hard earned reputation over the years.

  2. This is exactly why we nationalists have always condemned Congo domination. Liberian society is explicitly and implicitly an unjust society because the Congo ruling class failed to set examples worthy of emulation. As a result, friends credit from friends with no intention of paying back. Neighbors borrow from neighbors with no intention of returning. And employers hire with no intention of paying workers their just wages. What happened is that Congo rule destroyed the moral fabric of our country to the extent that there is no limit to the evil in which Liberians are most willing to indulge. Just the other day, a woman burned off a child’s hand for some minor childhood infraction.

    This is why we should consider it an insult that so many Congo people are running to be President in the 2017 Presidential election. A

    Ducan’s blatant refusal to pay his employees is not an isolated incident. It is the Congo way, which, unfortunately, has become the Liberian way.

  3. Mr. Saingbe,,I am in sympathy with your comments. However, since 1822 and by now,
    I thought that the Liberian society is homogenized one; that both so-called country
    man and so-called Congo man are both all but Liberians. Can we start thinking in that
    direction?

    My reason is that, we are all mixed if not in marriage then in real friendship or co-workers.
    In fact, I am a friend, I mean real friend of Chuchu or Francis L, M. Horton. In other words,
    we (the Hortons and Tarlues ) do not go on exacting monetary or material benefits from
    each others; but pure, hot and honest, in its superlative degree, mutual respect for each
    other. But, I bet when push comes to shore, we will be there for one another.

    All that we Liberians need to be is people of principles and love for one another. When the
    late President Samuel Kanyon Doe decided to found NDPL as a political party, Mr. Francis
    L.M. Horton willingly joined the party and was voted in as Deputy Chairman for administration.
    When the war came and we all ran away from Liberia to save our lives and those of our
    families, Mr. Horton was employed by the Philadelphia Bank in which his late Sr. brother Hon.
    Romeo Horton was one of the founders. After Charles Taylor took over as President, his
    senior brother Hon. Romeo Horton called Chuchu Horton and asked to go back home to
    help salvage the institutional damages done in Liberia during the war. Do you know what
    Mr. Francis Horton said You would be surprised to hear. He said. “Senior brother, how will
    the Liberian people look at me working with Charles Taylor who destroyed the very fabric
    of the Liberian society. And what is more, I had worked for my Government which is the
    ruling party NDPL. You all who aware of the war going to Liberia in one sense or another
    should be the ones to go home to work with Charles Taylor.” Do you what happened to
    him? He got fired from the Philadelphia Bank of his senior brother. I have told this story
    so that all Liberians will know what a man of principles Mr. Francis L.M. Horton is. But he
    was a Congo man if such ever exist!

    In identifying marks of disunity in the Liberian society, I beg to list the “country man and
    Congo man.” Those of you who are still perpetuating those divisive stuff should rethink
    that, for the country to go forward progressively, must replace such thing with homogeneous
    population. Those were the condition in the Liberian society at the time; you know who you
    are talking to? you know whom am I? This was the state of affairs prevalent in the Liberian
    society until the late President W.V.S. Tubman introduced and propagated the national
    policy: “Integration and Unification” policy.” He did not stop there but he made some
    prominent and officials of Government to choose which tribe each of them will belong. That
    was the reason why the late Thomas Bernard became Gola, Hon. Richard A. Henries became
    Vai or Gola, his Vice President William R. Tolbert, Jr. and the Tolberts became Kpelle,
    late Senator Elizabeth Collins became Mano or Gio, the late William Whetherspoon and
    and family became Sarpo in Sinoe County, etc … For the Tolberts and the Whetherspoons,
    it was easy because the Tolberts were speaking Kpelle while the Whetherspoons were
    already speaking Sarpo; and on and on … Indeed, if Liberians practice and put meaning
    in these historical imperatives, we will be better, if not the best!

  4. is not a surprise of Duncan and his wife, they are evil minded people. they cajole the people, have them employed and careless about their wellbeing.
    Duncan has been taken to court many times here in Sinoe for this same bad labor practice. the only area that can help these people get their money from Duncan and his wife is the Court.
    As it has happened many times here in Sinoe, the court will be the best area for redressed.
    Duncan is deceitful and wicked. he boast all over here as being a billionaire and don’t pay people peanuts. that guy is a close confident of the devil.

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