Tensions flared up on Thursday, October 8, on the grounds of the Temple of Justice when Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, failed to show up to address the eleven (11) months of unpaid salaries of some aggrieved workers of the Judicial Branch of Government.
The Judiciary has repeatedly informed the workers that the 11 months of unpaid Liberian dollar component of their salaries were affected during the government’s harmonization program on civil servants, which statement the workers had rejected, thus prompting a call on Minister Tweah to address the concern.
Before that, it was circulated that Minister Tweah had denied the statement by the judiciary that the employees’ Liberian dollar salaries were affected during the harmonization process, something which facilitated the protest on the grounds of the Temple of Justice.
It all started when the aggrieved workers were awaiting the arrival of Minister Tweah to confirm the allegation and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, being escorted by Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, approached the gathering and informed them about Minister Tweah’s absence at the occasion.
“Minister Tweah is unable to come to the meeting because he is busy. Therefore, he has agreed to reschedule the meeting to next week,” Justice Korkpor was heard telling the aggrieved workers.
Shortly afterward, the workers began to rain insults on the Justices.
They were heard saying, “This kind of stealing we did not see it during late Chief Justice Johnny Lewis time. This Korkpor is not the same Korkpor that we saw Lewis time, who advocated for us judiciary workers.”
The workers resolved to start their protest action as of Friday morning, October 9 which, if it took place, would disrupt court proceedings.
In may be recalled that the judiciary in a statement warned that protests, demonstrations, and strike actions at the Temple of Justice are in violation of the law and cannot be allowed to continue because they disrupt court processes.
“Information is that these employees intend to disrupt the ensuing opening of the Civil Law Court. The Judiciary is a neutral ground where party litigants go to seek remedy within the ambit of the law,” a statement issued by the Judiciary in Monrovia on Thursday, September 17, said.
The judiciary maintains that as it remains engaged with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in finding a possible solution to the plight of the aggrieved employees. It is, however, calling on the employees to exercise patience and refrain from actions that will disrupt the judicial process.