- Last Updated on 19.07.2018
By Michael Roberts
Liberia’s Minister of Labour, Moses Y. Kollie has vowed to change the status quo of those days when employers saw Labour Ministry’s officials as weaklings who would choose to fill their pockets at the detriment of the ordinary employees.
Minister Kollie assured the public at the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism weekly press briefing on Thursday, March 29, 2018 that gone are those days when employers especially foreign nationals would say “the Ministry of Labour is in our pocket” because he and his team are ready to implement the new Labour Law dubbed “Decent Work Act of 2015” to its full extent.
He pointed out that with this team the labour law will be upheld despite the “mountain challenges” his leadership incurred when he took over the Ministry of Labor barely two months ago.
“With a month plus spent at the ministry now, we have received and handled a number of written complaints in line with the Decent Work Act of 2015 which we have been able to handled and ruled in most of the reported cases with the recent being the APM Terminals Management VS Workers ‘case. Currently, investigation continues into the case involving the Management of Sethi Brothers and Duraplast VS the Workers. At the end of this ongoing investigation, we will also inform the public through you the media about the outcome of said investigation,” Minister Kollie intoned.
The Labour Minister disclosed that the ministry took a decision to fine the Management of Millennium Guest House and Suites located on the Tubman Boulevard, Monrovia with Three Thousand United States Dollars ($3,000.00 USD) to be paid on or before 30th March, 2018 for employing a foreign worker without a work permit. This action, according to him, is in keeping with Section 4(b) of Regulations Number 17 of 2009 of the Labor Laws of Liberia.
Additionally, Minister Kollie intimated that as part of the ministry’s efforts to uphold the Decent Work Act of 2015, 12 work permit requests were denied from employers who had intended to provide jobs for non-Liberians in the formal employment sector of which, more Liberians are qualified and prepared to do.
“We want to assure you fellow Liberians that this present team at the Ministry of Labor, will continue to uphold the Labor Laws of this Republic,” Minister Kollie averred.
“As part of our ongoing efforts, we have begun making sure that the National Tripartite Council is established which will lead also to the formation of the Minimum Wage Board by H. E. President George Manneh Weah. This board will from time to time advise the Minister of Labor, review and recommend wages that will promote the attainment of decent work in Liberia. In order to also address some of the challenges currently being faced by the ministry, couple with limited manpower, capacity and framework, we have put in mechanisms to recruit, train and deploy across the country, Labor Commissioners, Inspectors as well as Solicitors to help address some of the constraints faced by victims within the Labor sector,” the Labour Minister continued.
Minister Kollie then announced the commencement of a nationwide vigorous and comprehensive inspection exercise which is aimed at paving the way for the generation of much needed revenue for government and ensuring full compliance to the Decent Work Act of 2015 as well as, all existing Labor Laws of Liberia. The exercise also intends to remind employers and employees about their cardinal responsibilities in keeping with the Decent Work Act of 2015. This initiative will be carried in collaboration with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS).
He promised to make available to the public especially at various work places, more copies of the Decent Work Act of 2015 of which, discussions have begun with the ILO in funding the printing and popularization of said act into simple Liberian English for the benefit and enlightenment of all employees and employers throughout the country. It is envisaged that this will add additional impetus in our attempt to protect all parties in the employment sector.
“On this note, we want to assure you that we are confident that the Pro-Poor Agenda of H. E. President George Manneh Weah is well alive at the Ministry of Labor and the public can be assured that we will not give up,” he concluded.
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