After days of protest at the Liberia Electricity Cooperation over 30% deduction in workers wages, Minister of Labour, Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, met with the Management and Workers Union of the coorperation in Monrovia on July 8, 2021.
According to the Labour Ministry, Minister Gibson mandated the management to restore the 30% deduction from the workers’ salaries with immediate effect. He cautioned the management against taking the employees by surprise on issues affecting the status of their jobs. He urged them to give adequate notice to the employees of upcoming changes.
Minister Gibson also called on the management to suspend Mr. Jason Tuner, Executive Director of General Services of LEC and asked that he be subjected to further investigation into circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Jacob Dukuly, the Manager of Capital Feeder and T & D of the coorperation.
He said the Labour Ministry will consult with the Ministry of Justice and Mr. Dukuly’s family to establish if there is a need to conduct an autopsy on the body.
He advised the Management of LEC not to allow Mr. Peter U. Egbodor, Meter Consultant, whose work permit has since expired, on the compounds of the LEC. The Minister has said allowing Mr. Egbodor to continue working without a valid permit is a violation of the Labour Laws of Liberia. The Minister warned that Mr. Egbodor should not be seen in an LEC uniform, vehicle or on the premises until a work permit is duly issued to him.
The Labor Ministry statement also noted that it was established that the leadership of the workers union did not organize nor authorize the illegal strike action, but that the protest was spontaneous due to the sudden death of Dukuly, who they claimed was constantly harassed and threatened by Mr. Tuner and Mr. Egbodor.
However, the Minister used the occasion to encourage unions in the country to always seek the intervention of the Ministry of Labour before embarking on strike actions.
Meanwhile, the Workers Association and the Mother’s Union have apologized for the strike action on behalf of the LEC workers, while promising to pursue dialogue under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour on all issues between them and the LEC Management.
The Management of LEC thanked the Ministry of Labour for its swift intervention and promised to abide by the Ministry’s decisions.