The New Dawn (Monrovia)

17 December 2012

Liberia: Guards Shield Arcelor Mittal Officials

Private security guards within the compounds of Arcelor Mittal on 12th Street Sinkor, Monrovia have hidden officials of the company from being contacted by this paper amidst several attempts to obtain clarity on its policies regarding deceased employees' insurance benefits and their children's tuition and fees, among others.

This paper began a process of following up a matter with the company from November this year up to the time of publication upon obtaining copy of a communication from deceased Arcelor Mittal's locomotive mechanic Joseph N. Sumo's family, requesting the company's intervention regarding "stall matter of insurance benefits", among others.

Arcelor Mittal securities at the Sinkor compound have always claimed no officials of were available to comment on the matter each time this paper made an attempt to obtain their position on the issue.

Besides, the securities also claimed they are not authorized to give out their bosses' contact numbers to anyone for direct contact via mobile phone, making it obviously impossible to connect the officials, as this paper was never ushered into the fence but often addressed by securities from a window outside a huge iron gate.

As for the Arcelor Mittal office on 13th Street, Sinkor, the receptionist repeatedly told our reporter that the 12th Street office houses the communication department responsible to comment on issues, but also claimed she was not allowed to give out her bosses' contacts, when our reporter was ushered in by securities.

On November 7, 2011, the bereaved family of the late Joseph N. Sumo wrote Arcelor Mitta Resource Manager Cllr. Patrick Clark, seeking clarity from the company regarding its promise to provide financial aid to the late Joseph's daughter Joetta Sumo.

The Sumo Family had also written to find out whether the company still adheres to its promise to refund whatever amount spent to transfer the late Joseph's daughter Joetta from her previous school - St. Peter Claver Catholic High School in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County to the Christ the King Catholic School in Monrovia by the family following her father's death.

The bereaved family claimed it was informed that Arcelor Mittal refunds its employees' children tuition and fees, thus prompting its inquiry since Joseph had already paid his daughter's tuition and fees before his death.

"Again we have not received any response from your company up to today's date... please intervene," the family said.

Apparently due to the company's silence since the November 2011 communication, the family also wrote on October 11, 2012, informing Arcelor Mitta that its intervention was needed to speed up the process of getting the late Joseph's insurance benefits from the Group Insurance Company...

"We refer this case to you because since October 2011, documents required for the insurance benefits to be transfer to the beneficiaries were submitted to the insurance company through your institution," the family reminded the company.

But the family further said "However, since that time and up [to] today's date [October 11, 2012], we have not heard from the insurance company nor Arcelor Mittal."

In closing, the family said they want to get access to Joseph's account at Ecobank Liberia, but need court order which requires personal information data of the late Joseph N. Sumo from Arcelor Mittal, among others.

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