-As Management vows to address their plights soon
The Management of the Mano Manufacturing Company (MANCO) has vowed to address issues raised by workers regarding salary increment and other decent working conditions of the employees and contractors.
The promise by the management came when the workers went on a rampage in protest of improved working conditions, which Assad Fadel, the manager of the company, acknowledged and planned to address in the shortest possible time in order to keep the company in full operation.
The employees and contractors, among other things, are calling for an increment in transportation and educational allowances, provision of bonuses for elapsed working extra hours, medical benefits, and employment opportunities for workers that have served the company for a prolonged period of time but have not been employed.
Having stayed away from work in demand of the concerns raised, the workers’ union president, Deborah Smith, has called on the workers to return to work on Tuesday, July 14, on a promise by Mr. Fadel that he would address the concerns shortly to keep the workers happy in order to produce at a maximal level as always.
Madam Smith persistently maintained that the union will continue to engage the company’s management to address some additional concerns raised by the aggrieved employees and contractors.
MANCO, for more than 50 years now, has been manufacturing high-quality Alcohol, Medicated Soap of various kinds, and antiseptics (X-TTOL), including Clora Super Bleach, among others.
Clora Super Bleach has been synonymous with health and hygiene in every household in Liberia and for generations now. It has been approved for use by many international organizations, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in Atlanta. Today, CLORA has been approved for export all over the ECOWAS region.
The company is also the exclusive producer of WaterGuard for PSI Washington, both for Liberia and Guinea, and has been solicited to begin production in Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
With this discontentment stalling work at MANCO, it is possible that production will drop if the protest continues, thus causing a scarcity of the products that Liberians and others in the territorial confines of the country rely on for hand-washing and other uses, especially in this coronavirus crisis.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Assad Fadel, no company can become successful without prioritizing the wellbeing and concerns of its employees or workers.
He added that no industry or company can succeed or accrue profits if its workforce is unhappy and, as such, the interest of employees and contractors must be of paramount concern to all employers.
Calming down his aggrieved workers on July 13 while they were on a go-slow action, Fadel noted that though the move made by the workers came as a surprise, the company’s management welcomes and appreciates the workers’ non-violent protest, which is intended to speed up actions towards addressing their plights.
“I appreciate this; you guys are not happy and I will listen to your grievances. We have been a family for a long time and we’ve been through the good and bad. You have demands and we have been talking and negotiating. This came as a surprise to me,” he said.
“For now, we welcome this and we will sit on the drawing table and make sure that our workforce is happy. You don’t go to work disgruntled; you don’t produce better – I don’t get what I want and you don’t get what you want,” Mr. Fadel added.
It can be recalled that employees and contractors of MANCO recently submitted a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to the company’s management.
Separate meetings have been held between the senior management team of MANCO and the employees and contractors in order to address their concerns.
Mr. Fadel, however, assured the aggrieved employees and contractors that their concerns will be adequately addressed by the company’s management.
“We need to come together as a family and sort out issues. And I appreciate that today your action was not violent because you are not a violent workforce. There are some concerns and we will address them and make sure that everybody is taken care of,” Mr. Fadel said.
“We understand that the times are hard. What you are getting, other people want, but if you want more we can sit, discuss and dialogue to do more,” he said.
Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seeboe urged the aggrieved employees and contractors to do away with resistance and seek an amicable solution towards ending the impasse between them and the company.
“Whenever there is a problem, people can always get at this point and decide to resist. But resistance is normally not the best option but consultation.
“My role here is to be able to make sure that my people in our constituency are satisfied and the company has an environment where they can also operate in a satisfactory mood. We will always meet at a point where all of us can be satisfied. The management is prepared to listen to whatever you want to say,” said Representative Seeboe.
He continued, “No management wants to see people who work with them dissatisfied. No company will want to see itself halted in the midst of production time. What you are doing right now, management is not happy in the sense that they want you to be working.”
The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker however vowed not to sit and allow any company operating in his district to violate the rights of citizens.
“They know that you too are not happy and so, the best thing to do is to find a common ground. I will not be happy for anyone who works in a company to have his/her rights violated. This company will not violate anybody’s rights. We have to live and work together for the progress of all of us.”
Meanwhile, a meeting between authorities of MANCO, officials from the Ministry of Labor, Representative Seeboe and the leadership of the workers union, reportedly yielded fruitful results in the interest of all.
According to the president of the workers union, the management of the company has agreed to with immediate effect elevate the status of about 15 workers from contractors to employees.