In an effort to conform to the mandate of the House of Representatives in order to get rid of unfair labor practices and improve the relationship between the workers and the management of Farmington Hotel, the first Workers Union of the Farmington Hotel was on Friday, October 26, installed for a period of two years.
The Farmington Hotel Workers Union is the 8th local section of the Liberia Industrial Workers’ Union (LIWU). The Union aims to give workers the power to negotiate for more favorable working conditions and other benefits through collective bargaining.
Those who were elected and inducted were chairman Jallah Bonner (Maintenance Department Supervisor) and co-chairman Kandakai Mulbah (House Keeping – Public Area)
Others were Secretary, Eddie Gweemei (Porter – Front office); Treasurer, Mechan Gargar (Senior Waitress – Food and Beverage); Loan Officer, Samuel Sambola (Chef – Food and Beverage) and Shop Steward, Nancy Fallah (Cashier-Food and Beverage).
Speaking on the theme, “Rights, Privilege, and Opportunity”, Margibi County District #2 Representative Ivar K. Jones told the workers that the success of establishing a workers union in the Hotel for the first time since 2017 was because of the bravery of some of the workers, who told him about the unfair labor practices ranging from salary disparity to the use of abusive language hurled against employees and casual workers.
Rep. Jones said because of the House of Representatives’ stance on delving deeply into the labor malpractices of the hotel, a workable solution was derived, which included a workers union.
Quoting the late reggae superstar, Bob Marley, Rep. Jones said the workers should “Get up, stand up: stand up for their rights and get up, stand up: don’t give up the fight!”
He argued that with the induction of the workers union, the fight is over, but they should continue to stand up for their rights. “I want to tell you that for now, your reference books are the Employees’ Handbook, the Constitution and the Decent Work Bill,” Rep. Jones said.
He also told the workers to continue to work hard, because their employment was a privilege, not their right, and that they should make use of the opportunity and work within the laws of the country.
Installation officer, Assistant Labor Minister Togab R. Croyee Porte said the Ministry of Labor will ensure the balance of the relationship between the workers and the management and urged the Liberia Industrial Workers’ Union to localize the Solidarity Song.
The secretary of LIWU, Julius Wilson said LIWU is the national trade union organization and a free trade union entity established to defend the economic and social interest of industrial and allied workers at the national level, irrespective of color, sex, race, nationality, and creed.
The general manager of Farmington Hotel said the past is beyond and the induction of the workers union is a new day at the Hotel. He promised a cordial relationship with the Union, but urged them not to be complacent with their work.
The Chairman of the Farmington Hotel Workers Union, Mr. Jallah Bonner said the Union will put forth three platforms. “We will collaborate with the management to provide quality services for our guests; we do not intend to fight management, but rather work as a team to establish a vibrant union that will support and propose a strategy that will bring about growth and development,” Mr. Bonner said.
He added, “Within this phase of establishment, we will put in place by-laws and a constitution and register our members, open a bank account, and collaborate with other union organizations, well-meaning individuals, politicians, etc. Our goal as a union is to seek our equal benefit of every good thing that is stipulated within our labor law.”