The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Coordinated Efforts Needed On the Decent Work Bill

editorial

RECENTLY, THE LIBERIAN Senate passed one of the most contentious bills that have been languishing at the National Legislature since 2009 but called for further clarification before its submission to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

THE NEW LABOUR law otherwise referred to as the Decent Work Bill, was passed by the 53rd House of Representatives at the time of the agriculture break without setting what should be the real minimum wages.

AT ITS regular session recently, Plenary of the Senate overwhelmingly voted to set a minimum wage of 75 cents per hour or US$6 per day for workers in the employment sectors. The Senate reached its decision after series of heated debate from each Senator expressing views, claims and counter claims surrounding the passage of the bill.

BUT AT ITS regular session yesterday, the Decent Work Bill which was just debated about three days ago and passed by the Senate was rejected by members of the House of Representatives. The bill had suffered several setbacks since its introduction in the 52nd Legislature in 2010. The House previously passed the bill without setting a minimum wage and sent it over to the Senate for concurrence.

YESTERDAY AFTER THE communication from the Senate was read on the floor of the chambers in the Lower House, Lofa County Representative, Clarence Massaquoi, made a motion that the US$6 per day that was described by the Senate should be rejected and that plenary should constitute a conference committee to review the entire provisions of the bill.

NOW AS THE situation stands, we call on members of the House and the Liberian Senate to consider the interest of the Liberian people especially the civil servants to ensure that the Decent Work Bill is passed because anything short of that will create a situation that will generate anger amongst the citizens.

LET THE LIBERIAN Senate and the House coordinate to pass the bill because it concerns the Liberian people and if there is any problem, let the House and the Senate work together in passing this very important bill because the Decent Work Bill has been one of the most contentious issues at the National Legislature which needs to be urgently addressed by both Houses.

WE BELIEVE THAT our leaders at the Legislature will do the most honorable thing by enacting the Decent Work Bill to give our brothers and sisters good incentives at their various work places because leaving them at the mercy of God will be counterproductive to the growth and development of the nation's economy.

IF THESE PEOPLE are given good incentives, they will be able to positively contribute to the nation's economy through their taxes and other activities. Again, we call on the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate to coordinate their activities in ensuring that the Decent Work Bill be passed in the interest of the Liberian people.

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