Liberia: General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia At Mano Palm Oil Plantation Debunks Report of Pending Strike Action
Monrovia – The Workers Union at the Mano Palm Oil Plantation (MPOP) has dispelled media reports that employees of the company are planning to stage a peaceful protest to stall normal working activities at the company.
A local media report on Monday quoted employees of the company of allegedly planning to stage a peaceful protest at the company’s premises in Bomi County over alleged bad labor and administrative practices.
The Workers Union under the banner General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (GAAWUL) termed the allegation as false; deceptive and misleading.
Speaking in an interview with reporters in Monrovia Tuesday, the Union’s Secretary-General Vantee Kandakai, disclosed that an independent investigation launched into the report by the union has so far established that workers at the plantation are going about their normal working activities in a peaceful manner.
He noted that no demonstration or strike action will be orchestrated or carried out by workers at the plantation without the consent of the Union’s leadership.
“We gathered a media report yesterday that workers are planning to demonstrate but that is not to our knowledge. We launched our own independent investigation and we have not gathered anything yet that workers at the plantation are planning to demonstrate. We are not aware of any strike action”.
“When Sime Darby was here the group that used to most often demonstrate or carry on strike action is the Project Affected Communities (PACs). We went there and asked the leaders whether they were planning any kind of demonstration, and they said they are just hearing it too. Workers will not really stage a demonstration if we are not aware because we serve as a bridge between them and the company’s management”.
Mr. Kandakai further termed the working relationship between the management of MPOP and the workers and employees as “cordial” as evidenced by the peaceful working environment.
“The management has a good working relationship when it comes to information dissemination and buying our ideas. They are calling us to regular meetings and we too are giving our inputs. We shared ideas and come to one understanding. If we are on top of information from the management, things will be going on smoothly; but unlike in the past, most of the things Sime Darby used to do were never to our knowledge and there where the confusion use to come from”.
“MPOP management-at least they are trying their best. They have promoted many Liberians from Superintendents to Managers”.
He disclosed that representatives of GAAWUL remain active and vigilant at various estates in the plantation to abreast the workers’ union leadership on the day to day affairs at the plantation.
Mr. Kandakai, however, assured that the Union will not sit idle and allow itself to be used by unscrupulous individuals or groups to accomplish their personal aggrandizement to the detriment of its members’ wellbeing or stall investment and employment opportunities for investors and Liberians.