House Summons Sime Darby to Appear Today

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Sime Darby's country manager, David Parker

NBC Gregory Coleman also called

Members of the House of Representatives have summoned the management of Sime Darby to receive their “ultimatum” on tackling the entity’s unfair labor practice saga and the improvement of its corporate and social responsibility.

On Tuesday, May 8, during its 26th day sitting, the House consistently summoned David Parker, the manager of Sime Darby, to appear on Thursday, May 10, in the House’s Chambers at 11:00 a.m.

Gregory Coleman, Director General of the National Bureau of Concession (NBC), has also been summoned and will receive instruction from the House to effect their decision.

Other members of the management of Sime Darby who are also to appear include Sequavan Guventen, Head of Sales/Marketing, Ali Kamal, Head of Operations and Duoda V. Meteger, Head of Human Resources.

Attorney Ebenizar Z. Gibson of the Dean and Associates Law Offices is also expected to appear.

According to the report, a copy of which is in the possession of this newspaper, the Special Committee made a 16-point recommendation, including installation of water and latrine facilities on campuses of schools at the plantation, camp sites and other places; replacement of the asbestos roofing sheets and the employment of Liberians into senior managerial positions.

Other counts are the commiseration of salaries, equipment of laboratories, library and erection of annex; that all contractors who have worked or served the company for more than two years be employed and that no contractor should serve more than two years without being employed.

The report also suggests that those seen in the video torturing a Liberian citizen must be identified and prosecuted; that Mr. Ali Kamar be replaced with a Liberian citizen.

The decision followed a report from the House’s Special Committee to investigate the “tortured video,” which went viral on social media as well as reports of alleged bad labor practices.

The chairman of the House’s Special Legislative Investigative Committee is Representative Tibelrosa S. Tarponweh and Representaive Rustonlyne Dennis, co-chairperson, while the members include Representatives Johnson Gwiakolo, Matthew Zayzay, Beyan Howard, Moima Briggs-Mensah, Edwin M. Snowe and Mambu Sonii.

The recommendations of the Special Committee is based on a one-day on-site observation on Friday, April 27, at the Sime Darby Plantation.

Today’s session is intended to mandate the House’s Plenary to compel the management of Sime Darby to uphold the Special Committee’s recommendations.

It may be recalled that the management of Sime Darby appeared twice recently before members of that august body, to give account on a case involving torture allegations and of which the management was held in contempt because it had provided conflicting information. However, Sime Darby’s management later apologized.

Mr. Parker formally apologized to the House for providing fake testimonies on the case, but said Sime Darby doesn’t condone mistreatment of any Liberian or human being.

The apology from the management prompted the House to set up a Special Committee to probe the case.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Building/opening a functioning “HOSPITAL” should be part of this arrangement! Sime Darby is exploiting our badly needed resources! They DO NOT HAVE HOSPITAL AND THEREFORE RELY ON THE GOVERNMENT’S HOSPITAL IN TUBMANBURG TO TREAT THEIR SICK EMPLOYEES! Sime Darby needs to have a hospital just like B. F. Goodrich and Guthrie did! Sime Darby’s manaGenentech is mean! They NEED TO HELP BOMI COMMUNITY COLLEGE. SENATOR SANDO DAAZOE JOHNSON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LACK OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITMENTS FROM SIME DARBY TO THE PEOPLE OF BOMI. HE IS IN BED WITH THIS MALAYSIAN COMPANY!

    • Hey Boima – you are right but here’s the thing…the problem is not Sime Darby. As you rightly mentioned, the problem is with our leaders who are supposed to be representing their constituents. For the most part, they either have no idea what to do in the discharge of their duties and therefore are incompetent or are rotten corrupt to the core. These companies will not do what they are being accused of if they are not given the greenlight from our elected leaders.

      That’s why it is important for voters to get engage to ensure transparency ensue. These elected leaders must understand that there’s a price to pay for not seeking the interest of their constituents and the nation. Voting them out of office is the only tool voters have in their arsenal and voters must use it with no trepidation. Most of our elected leaders are not going to change unless voters take matters into their own hands at the voting booths. Some of these guys have served for twelve years and have not changed and will not…that’s why amending our election laws to encompass recall election is highly recommended.

  2. I partly disagree with the both of you! The construction of hospitals ( besides privately owned ones) is the responsibility of the government of any state. In the absence of Sime Darby or any other company, who should be building hospitals? This is a misconception many Liberians have , that a company/firm especially multinational ones operating in an allocated concession area is responsible to provide basic services that should be otherwise the primary responsibility of the state.

    That being said , companies should make an effort to provide some basic services for it’s employees. That could be in the form of erecting (building) infrastructures for such purposes. It could also come in the form of incentives for employees to seek such services elsewhere (if available). Unless such services otherwise form part of the concession agreement,the company is under no obligation to provide such. On the other hand, it is in the best interest of the company to provide such services (for example health care services, development activities not directly related to the facilitation of the company’s operation).

    Regarding environmental responsibility of a company, GOL should follow up with companies and make sure they comply. Usually bribes are paid to government officials to turn a blind eye, eventhough this might have been part of the concession agreement! I am glad the house has summoned SIME DARBY! Thanks to social media as well as the main stream media.

    On the subject of labor practice, GOL should set up a special task force to make sure that all companies , multinational or small complies with the labor code/act. Sanctions should apply if a company is found in breach. It should be required by the labor code that all companies submit a “workers protection policy” for review by an agency designated by the Labor Ministry. Such policy must secure a safe working environment for all employees. A follow up by GOL to ensure compliance of the policy should be a necessity!

    MULTINATIONAL AND SOME LOCAL COMPANIES EXPLOIT THE LACK OF OR THE LACK OF IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCH POLICIES!

  3. Multinational corporations are under no obligation to build hospitals and provide other social services. They are NOT exploiting anyone. They are paying their taxes to the government and its government’s responsibility to provide those services.

    The company should be given room to make profits, otherwise they will leave and no Liberian can provide what they are providing.

  4. Denny Philips, the social responsibilities obligation ( health services, accomodations etc. etc.) to be delivered by Sime Darby is an agreement reached between Sime Darby and the Liberian Government. LAMCO built schools and a hospital in Nimba. NIOC built a school and a hospital in Mano River, Cape Mount. LMC built schools and a hospital in Tubmanburg Bomi County. It is now a government hospital. This is how it is done around the world. If you do not have anything meaningful to contribute, just read. You may have something meaningful to contribute at another time.

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