By Richard D. Baysah (LINA)
Kakata – The Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia, (FAWUL), has elected a new leadership for the next two years.
Those elected are Abel Ngigie, Chairman, Levi Seway, Co- Chair, Jarbo B. Kerkulah, Secretary General, Moses Saye, Assistant Secretary, Edwin fallah, Grievance Committee Chair, Ben Henries, Treasurer, Mama Kolleh, Chaplain and Harris Kerkulah, Advisor.
This was the first Work Place Representative elections being held by the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia since the passage of the Decent Work Act by the National Legislature.
There has been a standoff between the management of Firestone Liberia and its workers over a statement made by the General Manager when he was cited by the National Legislature on the company’s concession agreement with the Liberian Government when allegedly stated that his employees were receiving a minimum wage of USD 8.37 per day.
This sparked a serious contention amongst the employees thus resulting to a strike action on the plantations of Firestone last month.
The strike action brought the operations of Firestone Liberia to a total standstill resulting into the immediate intervention of the Ministries of Labor and Justice.
However, following a meeting with the workers at the Labor Ministry in Monrovia, they were mandated to go conduct elections so they would have a leadership structure put in place that will enable them be in a better position to discuss all issues brought forth by them with the Management of Firestone Liberia.
In his first statement following his election as Chairman of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia, Abel Ngigie lauded the Liberian Government especially the Ministries of Labor and Justice for their timely intervention aimed at addressing plight.
Chairman Ngigie said he will not allow the management of Firestone Liberia to impose any policy that will be counterproductive through the Collective Bargaining Agreement, (CBA).
He also promised to work assiduously in the best interest of all employees of Firestone so as to bring the much needed mutual respect and industrial harmony.