Liberians United for Dignified Labor (LUFDL) has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration to intervene in the saga involving ArcelorMittal and the Engineers and Planners (E&P).
LUFDL, in a press release, said ArcelorMittal has threatened employees of E&P with dismissal, adding that hundreds of people are facing starvation due to the ongoing dispute.
According to the release, bulk of the inhabitants of ArcelorMittal’s operational areas, are living in appalling conditions. A situation LUFDL describes as regrettable for a company that once promised more to the Liberian people.
ArcellorMittal spokesperson, Madam Pamela Brown, said in a special statement: “The suspension of our (ArcelorMittal’s) operation in Yekepa, Nimba County, was an unfortunate issue for E&P. This is a situation that has rendered Liberians in that area jobless in the wake of the nation’s high unemployment rate.”
LUFDL in its release stated that the decision made by E&P is attributed to the alleged refusal of ArcelorMittal to settle millions of dollars worth of debt to E&P for sub contractual functions.
ArcelorMittal and E&P entered into a contract in 2011, and that contract ends on December 31, 2013.
However, on December 5, 2013, E&P ordered their employees to stop all work in the mine, after sending a notice to ArcelorMittal’s management informing them of the decision.
ArcelorMittal’s management said it would not force any E&P employees to go back to work, and emphasized that E&P workers, on their own, decided to resume their duties. This allegation made by ArcelorMittal’s management is yet to be verified.