The NEWS (Monrovia)

26 April 2013

Liberia: Who Opposing Decent Work Bill?

A member of the 53rd National Legislature has accused his colleagues, most of whom are owners of rubber farms of opposing the passage of the Decent Work Bill due to personal interests.

The Decent Work Bill which was introduced in the 52nd Legislature is among several bills still languishing in committee room.

The Bill, when passed into law, would compel managers and owners of rubber farms to pay their workers US$15.00 daily.

Grand Bassa County Representative J. Byron Brown says some of his colleagues are opposing the passage of the Bill which is critical to improving Liberia's labor force.

"The House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate will find it difficult to pass the bill into law because most of the Legislators from top to bottom are owners of rubber farms; so it is difficult for them to support the passage of the bill while those of us who are supporting the passage are finding it difficult to succeed," Rep. Brown maintained.

Rep. Brown did not however disclose the names of legislators who are opposing the passage of the Bill.

The Grand Bassa Lawmaker voiced out his frustration over the delay in the passage of the Bill Thursday, when he was awarded the highest honorary membership by the Liberia Broadcasting System Workers Union.

He suggested that one of the ways of ensuring the passage of the Decent Work bill is for citizens to begin engaging their lawmakers who are owners of rubber farms to support the instrument because it is critical to addressing various labor violations taking place.

Rep. Brown expressed fear that if this measure is not taken by the citizens themselves, the Decent Work bill would remain in committee room.

He thanked the LBS Workers' Union for recognizing his efforts, promising to use the honorary membership award to defend the Constitution of Liberia.

Earlier, the Secretary General of the Liberia Broadcasting System Workers' Union Alfred Rogers called on the National Legislature to set aside personnel interest and consider the passage of the Decent Work Bill.

Mr. Rogers noted that if the lawmakers have interest for the masses at heart, the passage of the bill should not be politicized.

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