For more than a week now, hundreds of aggrieved workers at the National Port Authority (NPA) have been protesting against bad labor practices. The chief culprit of these anti-labor precedents is APM Terminals.
Voices from Exile (VEx), a pro-democracy and pro-rights advocacy platform, remains very concerned about this ongoing impasse at NPA. VEx stands in firm solidarity with Liberian workers and calls on APM Terminals to refrain from continuous labor abuse.
“We are standing with these workers’ unions and are in full support of their demands and plights which are legitimate and reasonable to be met”, Vex noted.
To ensure and protect the interests of the Dock Workers Union of Liberia (DWUL), National Customs Brokers Association of Liberia (CBAL),) Port Truckers Association of Liberia (PTAL), it is incumbent upon the National Port Authority (NPA) and APM Terminals be very sensitive, proactive, and responsive to the plights of these aggrieved workers. The concerns that have been raised are genuine and they deserve timely redress.
Furthermore, VEx is demanding an immediate reinstatement of 24 suspended employees by APM Terminals. The rights of those suspended dock workers were flagrantly violated and we call for an end to illegal suspension and arbitrary dismissal throughout Liberia. The Rule of Law must prevail at all times.
If these 24 suspended workers are not reinstated as soon as possible, VEx will be compelled to mobilize thousands of students, youths, teachers, marketers, and ordinary Liberians through a nonstop protest until such reinstatement is done.
APM Terminals is not above the Labor Law of Liberia and we will not allow any concession company, not even APM Terminals, to exploit/abuse our people’s labor.
Predatory concessionaires must be brought in check because labor rights are fundamental to economic growth and development. We are calling for a review of APM Terminals’ concession.
VEx calls on President George M. Weah to use his executive power in order to reasonably relapse taxes on imports. Government must find remedy (ies) to prevailing complications at the National Port Authority.
The compounded difficulties facing Liberian businesses and entrepreneurs are disturbing. We call on government to entirely enforce the 1956 Labor Law of Liberia, the 1973 Liberianization Policy, and the 2010 Decent Work Bill.
In the coming days, VEx will formally dispatch a communication to the International Labor Organization (ILO) pertinent to bad labor practices throughout Liberia.
Writes Martin K. N. Kollie
Liberian Advocate and Chief Convener
Voices from Exile (VEx)
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