Former Cocopa Workers Receive USD$386,212 USD

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The Government of Liberia has announced a ‘historic milestone’—the successful conclusion of the final payment to the dedicated 596 former workers of “Liberia Company,” widely known as Cocopa Rubber Plantation workers who served prior to the Liberian Civil War in 1990.

These diligent former employees first approached the Government of Liberia in 1996 with a claim of $772,425 United States Dollars as their rightful severance benefits owed to them by “Liberia Company” (LIBCO). Unfortunately, their efforts during the interim government did not yield fruitful results. However, they remained hopeful that conditions would improve after the civil conflict.

 

They resumed their pursuit of justice under the administration of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006, 2011, and 2018. They took legal action and adopted various strategies to secure their severance benefits.

In 2021, the Liberian government under the leadership of President George M. Weah extended a listening ear to the former workers in an effort to resolve the long-standing issue. This involved the establishment of a joint Taskforce comprising the Ministries of Labour, Finance, and Justice.

Recognizing the significance of resolving this matter, the Ministry of Labour, led by Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, engaged in a series of negotiations with the former workers. These negotiations fostered open dialogue and understanding, ultimately resulting in a mutually beneficial agreement in 2022.

The outcome of these negotiations reflects the dedication of both parties to finding an equitable solution. The former workers graciously accepted a settlement of Three hundred eighty-six thousand Two hundred twelve United States Dollars (USD 386,212) as the first payment of their severance benefits, with disbursements commencing in July 2022.

The leadership of the former workers, represented by Chairman Mr. George B. Kruah, Marfred Yeegbeh, spokesman, and Amos Dolo, Secretary General, expressed their deep appreciation to the Liberian government for recognizing their tireless efforts to address this matter. They also paid tribute to comrades who regrettably could not witness this resolution. To reaffirm their commitment to the agreement, they formally signed a waiver, acknowledging that the government of Liberia is no longer indebted to them in any capacity.

The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Labour, extends heartfelt gratitude to these former workers for their patience, understanding, and unwavering cooperation throughout the years. Their peaceful engagement with the government in pursuit of their rightfully earned benefits sets a commendable example for resolving similar disputes.

Furthermore, the Liberian government commended Nimba County authorities and all relevant parties, including the Nimba County Rubber Incorporated, for their constructive role in maintaining peace and stability during the negotiation process.

This significant accomplishment stands as a testament to the Government of Liberia’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens and the importance of addressing past grievances. We eagerly anticipate a future of continued collaboration and prosperity for all Liberians.

The Government of Liberia, under the leadership of President George M. Weah, remains steadfast in its dedication to fostering growth, development, and social harmony in Liberia. The Ministry of Labour will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring the equitable treatment of workers and addressing labor-related issues across the nation.

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