Labor Minister Faces APM Terminals Management
The Minister of Labor, Moses Y. Kollie has frowned on the issuance of sub-employment contracts by major employers and institutions in the country. He said this act on the part of these institutions is intended to evade responsibilities such as the payment of benefits for year(s) served.
Minister Kollie made these assertions Thursday, March 1, 2018 when he and deputies met with the management of APM Terminals and dismissed workers of the company at his Labor Ministry office in Monrovia.
Recently, 17 dismissed workers of the Construction and Mining Contractors (CMC) Inc., a sub-contracting company of the APM Terminals at the National Port Authority (NPA) assembled at the home of President George M. Weah to seek his intervention. The President in return requested the Minister of Labor to look into the aggrieved workers’ complaints.
Following the President’s mandate, Minister Kollie immediately met with the workers to listen to their plights and invited the management of the APM Terminals and the workers for a conference with the senior management team of the Ministry.
Outlining their complaints, Madam Victoria Walker said that since 2011, they have worked with three (3) different sub-contractor companies with the last being CMC. CMC is to manage the cleaning crew with the APM Terminals.
She said that on February 8, 2018, she and 16 other contractors of CMC service were terminated without any benefits. She noted that what is of more concern is that after the termination of the 17contractors, the company has contracted 29 new workers to perform the same task. “We worked for 12 hours daily without overtime and now they have hired 29 new contractors who are working for eight hours.”
Speaking during the interactive dialogue, the Labor Minister said that the CDC campaigned on change and as such they must insist that things are done differently, noting that, “we need investors, but friendly investors who will respect our people.”
He said: “This is a new day and things must be done differently in the interest of our people. We will ensure that no company becomes untouchable. We want to encourage all investors and employers to work together with the Ministry for a peaceful labor sector.”
He told the management of APM Terminals to ensure that the port be a safe place for both workers and employers, saying that “as a management, your responsibility is to ensure that your company continues to live up to its best.”
He called on the management of APM Terminals to reconsider her decision and recall the 17 former workers as a means of resolving the situation.
In response, the management of APM Terminals promised to get back to the Minister by Monday, March 5, 2018 with an answer.
Meanwhile, Labor Minister Kollie is calling on all would be aggrieved workers in the country to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Labor and avoid running to the home of the President for redress.