240 AFCOM Protesting Workers Get Pay

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The Ministry of Labour has resolved series of recent strike actions by angry workers at AFCOM, a subsidiary of Arcellor Mittal mining conglomerates in Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties. The workers, numbering over 240 had been protesting in recent weeks in demand of basic monthly pay under payment, failure to remunerate, over time work benefits, illegal deduction of wages, public holiday day off severance pay, among others. According to a Labour Ministry press bulletin, the aggrieved AFCOM workers as part of concessions for peaceful resolution of their industrial actions, also agreed to withdraw a court case they earlier filed against management. The Labour Ministry press bulletin further revealed that, at the close of the social dialogue brokered by a team from the Ministry, headed Assistant Minister for Regional Labour, Madam Daybah Johnson, two separate memoranda of understanding were signed by representatives of the two striking AFCOM workers groups and management with several key provisions.: The two memoranda bind the company to fully comply with the key demands of the aggrieved AFCOM workers and mandated the workers to immediately return to work, while the company commenced the process of addressing their grievances, beginning with incentive disbursement to workers employed from 2015 to 2016.  The memoranda further mandate that all related legal fees amounting to over one hundred thirty thousand Liberian Dollars incurred by the workers in their law suit be reimbursed by management, while the striking workers were urged to withdraw their court litigation at the Labour court. The Labour Ministry press bulletin also quotes AFCOM Management also resolved that each recipient of the payment will sign a document with the condition that no further claims up and until the 5th of June 2024 will be made in the future. The memorandum further bind the aggrieved striking AFCOM striking employees to immediately return to work upon the full implementation by management of all counts contained in the workers’ grievances. Speaking at the close of the successful negotiation process, Assistant Labour Minister Johnson commended all parties for their use of social dialogue in settling workplace disputes, urging the workers to always explore all peaceful means to resolving their complaints and avoid persistent industrial unrests which have negative consequences on Liberia’s local and international investment image. For their parts, AFCOM Project Director, Ganesan Kaliapan, and Project Manager, C. Pavan Kuma, thanked the Ministry of Labour for its timely intervention in restoring industrial peace and harmony to the company and promised to ensure peaceful work conditions at the company. The AFCOM Aggrieved Workers’ Chairman and Spokesman, Messrs. Amos Barclay and Abraham Jappah, both lauded the Labour Ministry for responding and amicably resolving their dispute. Meanwhile, the payment of the LD$135,000.00 to the aggrieved AFCOM workers will take on Thursday, June 14, 2024 at the Ministry of Labour Commissioner’s Office in Sanniquellie City, Nimba County.

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