Minister of Labour Moses Y. Kollie has demanded the APM Terminals to immediately re-instate the 17 workers dismissed recently. He has also frowned on the issuance of sub-employment contracts by major employers and institutions in the country.
He said this act on the part of these institutions is intended to evade responsibilities such as the payment of benefits for year(s) served.
Minister Kollie made these assertions Thursday, March 1, when he and his deputies met with the Management of APM Terminals and dismissed workers of the company at his Labour Ministry office in Monrovia.
Recently 17 dismissed workers of the Construction and Mining Contractors (CMC) Inc., a sub-contracting company of the APM Terminals at the National Port Authority (NPA), assembled at the home of President George M. Weah to seek his intervention. The president in return requested the Minister of Labour to look into the aggrieved workers complaints.
Following the President’s mandate, Minister Kollie immediately met with the workers to listen to their plight and invited the management of the APM Terminals and the workers for a conference with the senior management team of the Ministry.
Outlining their complaints, Madam Victoria Walker said that since 2011, they have worked with three (3) different sub-contractor companies with the last being CMC. (CMC is to manage the cleaning crew with the APM Terminals.) She said that on February 8, 2018 the services of she and sixteen other contractors of CMC were terminated without any benefit.
She noted that what is of larger concern is the contracting of 29 new workers, after their dismissal, to perform the same task. “We worked for 12-hours daily without overtime [pay] and now they have hired 29 new contractors who are working for eight (8) hours.”
Minister Kollie, who spoke during an interactive dialogue with the aggrieved workers, said that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) campaigned on change and as such they must insist that things are done differently, noting that “we need investors, but friendly investors who will respect our people.”
“This is a new day and things must be done differently in the interest of our people. We will ensure that no company becomes untouchable. We want to encourage all investors and employers to work together with the Ministry for a peaceful labour sector.”
He told the management of APM Terminals to ensure that the port be a safe place for both workers and employers and that, “as management, your responsibility is to ensure that your company continues to live up to its best.”
He called on the Management of APM Terminals to reconsider her decision and recall the 17 former workers as a means of resolving the situation.
In response, the Management of APM Terminals promised to get back to the Minister by Monday, March 5, 2018 with an answer.
Meanwhile, Minister Kollie has called on all aggrieved workers in the country to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Labour and avoid running to the home of the president for redress.