Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation Employees Hold Mass Meeting on Delay in The Payment of Five Months’ Salary Arrears, Others
MONROVIA – Aggrieved employees of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) will today hold a mass meeting over delay in the payment of their five months each salary arrears owed them by the Government of Liberia (GOL).
The LWSC is an agency of government responsible for sewage collection and the provision of pipe-borne water to Liberians.
A leaked memorandum issued on November 20, under the signature of the acting Secretary-General of the LWSC Workers Union, C. Abayemi Cassell, invited employees to the meeting to discuss ‘issues pertaining to the corporation and the wellbeing of the workforce.’
According to the proposed agenda for the meeting, the aggrieved LWSC employees are expected to also discuss and find ways forward to the lack of the provision of their transportation for a period of seven months.
The memo was copied to the corporation’s Managing Director, Duannah A. Kamara, Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Moseray Momoh, and the Deputy Director for Technical Services, Dan Saryee, among others.
Go slow eminent
Sources at the LWSC, speaking on condition of anonymity disclosed that the called meeting is intended for the aggrieved employees to discuss and conclude possible actions that would be initiated until their plights are attended to.
The meeting was reportedly called after several diplomatic steps and efforts to ensure that the relevant authorities intervene failed to materialize.
The aggrieved LWSC employees have reportedly complained to the senior management team about the delay in the payment of their just salaries, poor working conditions, and the lack of safety gears.
The outcome of the called meeting may likely lead to the staging of a go-slow action to draw public attention to the numerous constraints LWSC’s workers are faced with.
The only language understood
In recent times, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government has succumbed to go-slow and protest actions initiated by civil servants, including professionals.
In September, hundreds of health workers including doctors and nurses staged a peaceful protest across Liberia, calling on government to settle their three months’ salary arrears owed them.
Normal working and medical activities were paralyzed as a result of the health workers’ action.
Their action also compelled pregnant women and babies’ mothers to stage separate protests by setting roadblocks in demand of the return of the health workers to public health facilities, including clinics and hospitals.
The situation at the time forced the government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to pay a portion of the protesting health workers’ salaries the next day, after the strike action.
The intervention made by government at the time was a ‘pet’ to encourage the health workers to return to work.
On October 15, scores of students from the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) sponsored by the government, stormed the streets of Monrovia, demanding the return of their teachers to the classrooms.
The MCSS teachers had abandoned the classrooms, demanding the payment of their three to four months’ salary arrears owed them by government.
The protesting students at the time blocked the presidential motorcade and set roadblocks during the protest.
Several students sustained injuries and were hospitalized as a result of the incident.
The government lately intervened by paying portion of the MCSS teachers’ salaries.
The teachers later returned to the classrooms to administer their respective tests to the students for the first marking period.
A planned protest by legislative staffers at the Capitol Building for the payment of their three months salaries each, was called off after a swift intervention by government to partly pay their salaries.
The called mass meeting by aggrieved workers of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), may result in in a go-slow action if nothing is done to address their plights or concerns.
The supply of pipe-borne water to customers, including households and companies, among others will be paralyzed if a decision is reached by the employees to abandon work.
When this happens, government could lose thousands in terms of revenue generation.
The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation was created by an Act to amend the Public Utilities Law in 1973.
The Corporation is empowered to construct, install, establish, operate, manage and supply to all parts of Liberia, safe drinking water and perform all sewerage services, as well as to maintain such water and sewerage facilities.
It was also founded to engage in the management, development, construction, installation, manufacture, operation, transmission, distribution, sale and supply to all areas of water and sewage services and of equipment and facilities related thereto.
The LWSC establishes and maintains water and sewer facilities, offices and agencies within Liberia; and to exercise any or all of its corporate powers and rights in Liberia and in any foreign or countries, if need be.
The corporation determines fair and reasonable rates, fees, and charges which shall be charged in connection with the provision of water and sewage services.