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Don’t Rob the Laborer

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The Editor,

Liberia observed another international workers’ day, Wednesday, May 1, 2019  with other countries around the world but let us celebrate workers in Liberia for steering the wheels of our country, despite little financial gains for their labor.

Here in Liberia, labor movement are struggling to set the standards for working men and women wages, benefits, health and safety regulations, something other countries are far ahead during. 

Laborers’ benefits can’t be achieved without the involvement of the current leadership in Liberia and other partners. Its time that we implement the labor laws to meet actualities in one of Africa’s oldest country, 

“THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA” .

It is unthinkable that despite all the natural resources we have in Liberia, the masses are currently living in poverty and life is becoming unbearable each day for several people.

According to the international Labor Organization, this year’s team “Uniting Workers For Social and Economic Advancement” is really what workers in Liberia truly merit.

You can agree with me or not, workers sacrifice friendship, relationship just to get jobs done under difficult conditions, such as braving the rain, sun, bad roads, amongst others.

Sadly, their labor doesn’t match up with their economic gains in Liberia, consequently affecting them.

It is so sad that most workers in Liberia over the years have or are being rubbed of their labor benefits by some companies and government institutions operating in Liberia. 

Their monthly take home income, lack of health, death, accident and other benefits they deserved can relate to such evil treatment against Liberian workers. 

Let us not forget that our country is a member of several international best practicing groups, have signed and committed to keep good standards of living for its citizenry.

Nowadays, far too often, we come in contact with dozens of workers who, though in plain sight, are invisible to us. They may be bus drivers or fare collectors, sanitation workers, security, Teachers, Doctors, child care workers, journalists , mechanic , nearly all are underpaid and unfortunately unrecognized for making our lives and our communities livable.

Also, the issues of misclassification of workers is a growing problem that results in cheating workers out of thousands of dollars in wages every month. I hope that the pro- poor government of George M. Weah can change such path. 

Let me quickly say, that affording qualified Liberians the opportunities to work can not be over emphasized.

Also, we need to enforce the issues of work permits in Liberia and don’t allow  foreigners taking over jobs that Liberians are able to do. This is  greatly crippling our labor market in Liberia thus resulting into  we becoming spectator in our own country to the work market .

All around the world,  a foreigner must obtained worker  permit for a certain period of time issue by government before jumping into the working sector. Sadly in Liberia, gains in such implementation and regulations are stay down the line.

Liberian government must do all to support the Liberian labor force which I believe will improve the economic capacity of Liberian and grow the economy and family.

Finally, I want the government to take seriously the plight of worker. As we observed International Workers Day, we must not just celebrate the day but rather gains made thus far .

I am asking government to renew their commitment to put the rights of the workers’ above profits; the safety of the worker above productivity; the security of the worker above the prerogative of policy.

It’s time Liberia’s economic policies put people and families first, instead of the interests of a handful of wealthy and well-connected corporate CEOs. We need to change the debate from “what is good for the economy” to “what is good for Liberians and working people.”

Also,  Proverbs  14:23  says, “All hard work brings us a profit, but merely talk leads only to poverty”.  

Before I drop my pen, I’m  urging all Liberians to support the labor of our talented citizens by remembering to buy Liberian made products every time we shop.

Thank you.

Zoe Dennis

United Methodist University 

[email protected]

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