The newly inducted officers of the United Workers Union of Liberia (UWUL) local office #12 have been warned against engaging in any acts of lawlessness in advocating for their members.
Mr. Emmett A. Crayton, Assistant Minister of Trade Union Affairs at the Ministry of Labor, admonished the newly elected officers that they must consider their positions as servants of those who elected them and seek their interest through peaceful means.
Crayton said one of their objectives should be to unite the workers to speak with one voice because “in union strong success is sure” through hard work.
The installation was held recently in the gold mining town of Kinjor at the UWUL local office in Grand Cape Mount County.
Speaking earlier and on behalf of the Bea Mountain Mining Company’s management, Mr. Sando Wayne, community and governmental affairs manager, said the company welcomed the establishment of the workers’ union.
He said workers unions are necessary to give workers a voice in making decisions that affect their interest in their places of work .
Wayne said one thing the union will bring on board is the advocacy role on behalf their members and promised the company’s full support.
Mr. Sydney Cooper, chairman of UWUL, promised to cooperate with the management of Bea Mountain .
“Our aim is to make sure that we engage our management through dialogue and not through confusion and I can assure you that we will continue to use dialogue in situations that demand our involvement with the management,” he said.
Cooper acknowledged difficulties that faced the union and the unyielding determination of the workers. “There were times that we walked in the rain to make sure that our request to the management was addressed,” he said.
He expressed appreciation to Bea Mountain’s management for working with them to get the organization off the union off the ground. “We negotiated with management on pertinent issues and we amicably resolved them which made possible what we have achieved today,” Cooper said.
Cooper gave a brief history mining in the community and noted it began in 1996 when a group of artisanal miners discovered the presence of gold in Kinjor leading to the interest of several mining companies including the Mano River Resource and the Aureus Mining.
Those installed along with Cooper included Mao Coulibaly, co-chairman, Emmanuel S. Woanyean, secretary general, Maryan Lee, finance officer and James Sulonteh, grievance officer.
Others are UWUL’s representatives: Lawrence Copeland Jr., Abraham S. Nyei, Peter Kumeh, Nelson Kiadii, Elijah G. Paypay, Prince Mulbah and Musa Konneh.