Two Labor Laws Affecting Public Service Workers in Liberia
Monrovia – Liberia’s Public services workers stormed the head offices of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) to protest against bad labor practices meted against them by the government of Liberia.
The government workers frowned on the existence of the parallel labor laws in the country.
“Although the constitution guarantees the right to associate and specifically refers to trade unions, the government had instituted two labor Laws, the Decent Work Act for private and the civil service standing order for the public sector denying public servants the international and constitutional rights to organize themselves into unions ,despite government ratification of the ILO conventions of 87 and 98 to put these international regulations into practice,” said George Poe Williams , Secretary General of the National Health Workers Association (NAHWAL).
For the past eight months, the public service workers union have been protesting against the bad labor practices used against them by the Government of Liberia, particularly the dismissal of four of its leaders, including George Poe, Williams, and Joseph S. Tamba of NAHWAL, Mellish P.G. Wehand Jayce W. Garniah both of the Roberts International Airport Workers Union (RIAWU) without any redress to their concern.
Meanwhile, the workers union are calling for the abolition of the civil service standing order , specifically, the inclusion of civil servants and maritime workers in the Decent Work Act and also the re-instatement of the dismissed workers union leaders.
They demanded the implementation of ILO conventions 87 and 98. ILO Conventions call for freedom of association and protection of the right to organize as well as the respect for workers and management collective bargaining agreements.
They also called for the inclusion of Civil servants and maritime workers in the decent work act and the reinstatement of union leaders of NAHWAL and RIAWU and all other union and workers’ leaders who have been illegally dismissed by the Liberian government.
They want the restoration of RIAWU’s collective bargaining agreement and the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of all dismissed teachers of the National Teachers Association of Liberia and the Monrovia Consolidated School System Teachers’ Association (MCSSTA) following the strike action.
Receiving the petition, the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, James Torh lauded the Public Service Workers for using the appropriate medium to channel their grievances, “I want to give you assurance that I will take this petition to the Board of Commission and that by next week we will deliberate on this petition and we will get back to you,” Torh lamented.
He added that “This is the best thing to do. It is good that you did not go in the street to destroy people properties but you chose this channel and I want to give you the assurance that we are here for you and we should defend your rights”.
By Laurina Kerl of Developmental Media Incorporated