Labor Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson has released that he is going to vigorously activate the publications of all job advertisements in the newspapers and ensure that those jobs are competed for instead of offering them to people on the basis of favoritism or preferential treatment.
“When I receive an application for work permit for jobs, I first ask whether these vacancies have been published in the newspaper to afford Liberians the opportunity to compete, and in most cases answers are no. Our newspapers should be making lot of money if these vacancies are to be published and is required under Regulation no. 17, but they are being ignored.”
Raising the concern at a capacity building workshop for Labor Inspectors, Commissioners, and Child Labour Monitoring Officials recently, Cllr. Gibson called on the participants of the two-day workshop to take the training serious because as he puts it “It is very important that we get together and achieve this objective already working with the ILO,mechanisms are inplace to start the ball rolling.
Nowadays, employers are recorded to have reduced job advertisement in the newspaper, and applicants hardly compete for jobs but are offered principally based on a person’s connection with an individual within the entity. A Labor expert said as a result of lack of competition for job and offering jobs to people on the basis of favoritism, not many people holding jobs are performing to expectation.
The Capacity Building Workshop for Labour Inspectors, Commissioners and Child Labour Monitoring Officials was meant help them monitor sound application of International Labour Standards (ILS), with emphasis on ILO conventions 100, 138 and 160.
Speaking further, Cllr. Gibson said that the workshop is very important not only for the ILO achieving its objectives which is in line with his Ministry’s objective, but is a good thing to have child labour abusers to answer to their crime through regulations.
He said that it is also a good thing to ensure women get equal pay for equal work with men in the workplace, but noted that on top of those two good things, they can also employ and rehabilitate disadvantaged men and women popularly known in Liberia as ‘zogoes.’
The Liberian Labour Minister disclosed that “I would rather create five jobs for Liberians who will get minimum pay of US$500.00 a month than to sign five Work Permits that will bring US$5000.00 into the government revenue. The value of a citizen working and extended responsibility far outweigh the $5,000 to come to government. That’s why somebody brought to my attention saying, Cllr. Gibson, the revenue is dropping in the first quarter of this year; I said yes, but the employment of Liberians are going up.”
Minister Gibson named some measures being put in place to increase employment opportunity for Liberians as asking employers to publish all vacancies in the newspapers as a means of allowing Liberians to compete.
Earlier, ILO Country Manager in Liberia, Mr. Salif Massalay said that the workshop is aimed at sensitizing labour authorities on the provisions of the ILO Conventions 100 and 138, especially gender equality and non-discrimination at workplaces.
More specifically, the workshop will build the capacity of Labour Inspectors, Commissioners and Child Labour Monitoring Officers, to monitor sound application of ILS with an emphasis on Conventions 100 and 138.
Mr. Massalay added that the workshop will deepen participants’ understanding on the scope and main concepts of the Conventions concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work Equal value, 1951 Convention (100); as well as the Minimum Age Conventions, 1973 Convention (138).
It also throw light on national legislation and relevant provisions as regards the equal payment of wages for men and womenworkers for work of equal value; and the minimum age for admission to work.
Participants were orientated in their roles in the enforcement of the legal provisions regarding equal remuneration and minimum age for admission to work.
For their part, two participants of the workshop Mr. Eric Kpaye, Inspector General of the Ministry of Labour and Mr. Johnson Quaqua, Chairman of Commissioners Council of the Ministry of Labour, hailed the partnership between Ministry of Labour and International Labour (ILO) and assured that as their capacity is built, they will ably regulate and administer the labour sector of Liberia.
They prayed that the Government through Ministry of Labour will ensure the speedily ratification of the two ILO Conventions to enable the ministry to come out with regulations for the enforcement of these conventions, noting that “Regulation empowers to the Ministry of Labour to take action against violators will also serve as roadmap in monitoring workplaces across the country for compliance.”
The workshop held in Monrovia from March 11-12, 2021 brought together over forty (40) Labour Inspectors, Commissioners and Child Labour Monitoring Officers from the Ministry of Labour.