6 December 2012

Liberia: RIA Management, Workers Sign First CBA

Workers of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and the Management are expected to sign their first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) today at the Royal Hotel in Monrovia.

The signing ceremony is expected to bring together representatives of the workers, the management and government stakeholders and is the first in history since the airport was declared as a commercial airport in 1964.

Melish Weh, the President of the RIA Workers Union (RIAWU) told this paper on Wednesday, the signing of the CBA would be the beginning of a new day for workers of the airport who are considered one the least income earners amongst civil servants in the country.

He said, the CBA negotiations began since April 2012 and their concern as workers have been squarely focused on increments in wages and improvements in working environment and conditions.

Mr. Weh disclosed, following the signing of the CBA, RIA workers would now get a place amongst decent paid workers in the country especially in government cycle.

The Melish Weh's leadership which is the first independent workers union of the airport according to him came to existence on December 4, 2012 and has since outlined better wages and salaries and improved conditions and environment for workers as priorities.

In another development, the General Manager of the Roberts International Airport (RIA), Julius Dennis has been suspended for time indefinite.

Mr. Dennis was suspended last week by the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) headed by Madam Ellen Corkrum as Managing Director for reasons yet to be known but sources hinted The Informer Newspaper the action was administrative.

This is his third time serving the RIA and leaving as a result of harsh actions.

The RIA General Manager returned to the position four months ago succeeding James Ebanks who also succeeded him in 2008 when he was removed from the position for allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Other sources also suggest there have been tensions at the only international airport in the country since Madam Corkrum took over as managing director of the LAA over poor management of the airport facilities and access.

Meanwhile, the Deputy for Administration, Roberts Morris has been named to act in his post.

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