Smith Nugba Calls on Aggrieved ArcelorMittal Workers to Reject US$308K Settlement

The Co-founder and head of Liberia chapter of the Feed My Children humanitarian organization, Smith Nugba, has called on the over 500 former workers at ArcelorMittal to with immediate effect reject the US$308,000 ordered the company by the Liberian government to pay those workers following a verdict passed in their favor.

It can be recalled recently, the government of Liberia , through Labor Minister, Cllr. Charles Gibson, ruled that the Management of ArcelorMittal Liberia to pay US$308,000 to the 504 former aggrieved workers as a constituted final settlement for what the Ministry termed as unfair labor acts by the management against the former workers.

Speaking to this media institution on Thursday in Monrovia, Nugba described the action of the company as complete wickedness and a slap in the faces of those who had worked for the company for years without achieving anything as their benefits.

The Liberian businessman, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Brother Designs, further described the cash that is to be paid to the former workers of ArcelorMittal-Liberia as a peanut; something according to him, unlike in Liberia, ordinary citizens in other next door countries are winning many labor cases from concession companies with huge soms of money.

Meanwhile, Smith Nugba also termed as frustrating and a total mockery to the aggrieved workers on the part of the Liberian government for celebrating the labor case won against the Management of ArcelorMittal-Liberia, adding that according to his calculation, each of the 504 former workers will take not less than One Thousand United States Dollars from the Three Hundred-Eight Thousand United States Dollars.

He further argued that the Management of ArcelorMittal-Liberia smartly hired a new company to perform similar tasks which the former workers were doing and later referred them (the aggrieved workers) to work for the new company; a decision of the ArcelorMittal-Liberia he said it was intended to prevent the aggrieved workers from receiving all of their benefits they had labored for over the years.

At the same time, the Co-founder and head of Liberia chapter of the Feed My Children humanitarian organization is calling on human right advocates, including the opposition community, especially the Collaborating Political Parties to intervene into the situation and forget about who heads their political ticket ahead of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections in the country.

“You’re looking at a multimillion dollar company violating over 500 citizens in Liberia. These are things that opposition and human rights activists should be flagging, but they don’t care about the citizens but only power.

The government should stand for its citizens so as to serve as a deterrent to other companies coming to Liberia to operate and besides that, the aggrieved workers should take their case to the Supreme Court of Liberia and the company should be mandated by the Court to pay US$10,000 or the Liberian Dollar equivalent to the workers so they can establish themselves and settle other domestic challenges,” Nugba averred.

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