Grand Bassa County - Workers of the Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia or SEGAL have complained over alleged bad labor practice by the firm.
Several of the firm’s workers, who asked not to be named, told FrontPageAfrica that they work for 12 hours daily instead of the regular eight hours mentioned in the Labor law.
The workers alleged that when they request over time payments for the extra man-hour, their supervisor often threatened to dismiss them.
Many of the workers who spoke to FPA names are being withheld to protect their identity from reprisal by the firm.
"We signed a contract with the security firm and we used to work for eight hours but after a few times, SEGAL increased our working time to 12 hours without adding any money to our pay but instead they force the time on us," one of the workers said.
“Whenever any of us are absent from job, the management cuts US$20 dollars from our pay without finding out what is happening to us," another employee said.
“Our salaries don't come on time, if a month ends it takes up to 20 additional working days before our pay can reach us," a worker alleged.
The aggrieved workers also claim that the firm ignores several of their concerns and when a worker is injured on the job, the management doesn’t take responsibility of said employee.
They also alleged that the firm doesn’t regularly make vehicles available to take them to the various guard posts.
"We walk most often because it's difficult to get the vehicle, besides it (vehicle) doesn't even come on time and when we arrived late at work, money will be deducted from our salaries,” another worker complained.
“Our own Liberian brothers using us for whole 12 hours without any written document or salaries amendment."
The General Manager of SEGAL Mr. Momo Cyrus in a recent press conference denied the allegation, claiming the firm has “not abuse any of the rights of their workers”.
He claims none of the workers have complained to him about any “wicked act” being carried out by the company in Grand Bassa County.
“The labor law talks about 48 hours a week and eight hours a day but the workers came together and agreed that they wanted to work for 12 hours to have 2 days out to rest for which they all agreed to,” Momo said.
We are doing a survey on those workers that want the 12 hours to stand and those that want the eight hours to stand if the 12 hours carry the majority; then it will be bounding on every worker to work for 12 hours.”
Responding to allegations of delay in payment of salary, the SEGAL boss said the firm is a private entity that has a system of payment, which runs from the 8th to the 20th of every month.
“I am a human and no one will say I delay their salaries; I have conscience. Sometimes if the companies that give me the contract don’t pay on time I use my personal money to pay my workers but they won’t say the truth,” he said.
Documents in the possession of Front Page Africa revealed that workers of SEGAL in the county work for 12 hours and there are no written contract entered into between the firm and the employees calling for change in the man hour.
The new decent work act of 2015, section 17.1 and 17.7 state that an employee is to put in 48 hours, adding that working hours from Monday to Saturday shall start at 08:00 hours to 13:00 hours and from 14:00 hours to 17:00 hours daily.
The law also states that contract shall be concluded in writing, three copies shall be established of which the employees shall receive one copy, one copy shall be maintained by the employer (SEGAL) and one copy shall be filed with the Ministry of Labor.
All changes to the contract and additional agreements must be made in writing to be effective.
FrontPageAfrica has gathered that none of the workers signed additional contracts regarding the additional four hours added by the SEGAL management.
Report by Elton Wrionbee Tiah