Former United Nations Employees in Liberia Threaten Big Protest Over ‘US$39M Arrears’
Monrovia – Former employees of the UN Missions in Liberia are requesting that the mission pays arrears it owes them (former employees) for more than 10 years or they will stage more protests in the coming days.
Report by Edwin Genoway, [email protected]
For more than four days, former workers of the UN Mission staged protests at the mission’s Monrovia headquarters demanding US$39 millions arrears in salaries and benefits.
The former UNMIL workers comprise of employees from Liberia’s 15 counties that have allegedly served the mission since 2003.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica on Friday February 9, the spokesperson for the aggrieved workers threatened that they will gather next time at Pan African Plaza to protest with their entire families including their wives and children to claim the intention of the international community.
Jerry Wallace said since 2003, UNMIL have denied them their rightful salaries and benefits, which was later discovered when some aggrieved former workers of the mission conducted a research.
Wallace said over 200 employees were dismissed instantly after they advocated for the mission to take the rightful procedure in paying salaries and benefits.
He frowned on UNMIL for the “ill treatment” of former employees of the mission.
“We don’t like the way UNMIL is treating us Liberians especially we the former employees of the UN Mission here, since 2003 we been working as daily hires and we were more than 2,000 workers and UNMIL went against their own rules and regulations governing the United Nations,” Wallace said.
“They kept us on daily hire for more than a year and when Kofi Anna deputy came to Liberia at the time, we put our plight before her and she met the SRSG at the time Mr. Jack Klein, (and) Mr. Klein was instructed to change our status from daily hire to employees.”
Wallace said he and his colleagues’ status were subsequently changed to employees but were still receiving the salary of daily hire.
“After they upgraded our status we were still receiving the US$208, which was given to contractors. After we realized our actual salary as employees, the management of UNMIL throw our employment documents that contain our salaries details into the garbage bin and mine was found there also, that’s how we got to know that we supposed to make above US$208,” he explained.
Wallace said their dismissal from UNMIL happened when authorities of the mission realized that the aggrieved employees had found out the truth about their “real salaries”.
“After we have worked for years as employees getting daily hire money, and the authority noticed that we have found out the truth about our salary, they quickly put us down without giving us what they supposed to gave us and we need our money, we have worked for it,” he said.
The aggrieved former employees of UNMIL said the action is “inimical to the status of the UN,” while calling on UN Secretary General Antonio Guteres to intervene swiftly.
Lyn Robertson, UNMIL Chief of Public Information, said the UN mission could not comment on the former workers’ claims as the matter was before the mission’s legal team.
She told FrontPageAfrica via mobile Sunday that the mission will issue an official statement this week on the matter