26 November 2012

Liberia: Ex BMC Employees Demand Severance Benefit

Over 1,800 former employees of the Bong Mining Company (BMC) are demanding US$8.9 Million Severance benefits from the Government of Liberia.

Mr. Jaye Larblah, Chairperson of the ex-BMC workers told The Informer over the weekend in Monrovia that of the US$17 Million plus owed them by the BMC management, he claimed, the Government of Liberia only agreed to pay a portion while BMC Employees US$13 million.

Of the US$13 million he said the GOL agreed to pay, Mr. Larblah pointed out, only US$4.1 million was received from the Government, thus leaving an outstanding balance of US$8.9 Million dollars.

Over the past few years, Mr. Larblah further alleged, the leadership of the EX-BMC employees has engaged the GOL on numerous occasions for their severance benefits to be paid but to no avail.

As a result of the situation, Larblah noted, the ex-BMC Employees are catching hard time in feeding their families, as well as sending their children to school.

Due to the employees' unending frustration, Mr. Larblah disclosed that several of his colleagues recently embarked on a strike action in Bong Mines in order to claim the government's attention.

"I am Jaye J. Larblah. I am chairing the leadership of the former Bong Mines Employees. I know you may have heard about some strike action in Bong Mines. But I want to let you know that this strike action is coming from the former BMC employees who're frustrated" Mr. Larblah told a team of journalists in Paynesville.

Adding: "Over the years the government has not been willing to give us our entitlement. We worked for the BMC Company before the war. When the war was coming, the company left and wrote us (employees) a letter informing us that when they return we would get our severance benefits."

"When we returned back home, the government set up a trusteeship unknown to us. The government at the time appointed the late Hon. Eugene Cooper to be our representative. We did not have an input into this trusteeship" Larblah said.

He said the ex-BMC employees met with all the relevant agencies connected to the money, including the National Legislature, but since then, he claimed, the government is still reneging to pay their severance benefits.

Asked what would be their next course of action now that their severance benefits have been delayed, Mr. Larblah said: "We will continue to dialogue with the government to pay our money. We're not interested in violence. We just want the government to please see reason and come to our plight."

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