The Informer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Labor Ministry Clarifies Report On Lbs 'Wahala' - As PUL Demands Workers' Reinstatement

The Ministry of Labour has refuted reports that it has ordered the immediate reinstatement of the suspended employees of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) as was reported by some media institutions.

The Ministry, in a release issued yesterday, said at no time the management of the LBS was found guilty of wrongful suspension of employees of its institution during the social dialogue conference held between the concerned parties at the Ministry of Labour.

The conference was intended to find amicable resolution to the situation unfolding at LBS using the social dialogue approach and not litigation.

During the conference, the suspended employees represented by their parent body warehouse, hotel, industrial, long-shore, Supermarket and store workers Union of Liberia (WHILSASWUL) and the Liberia Labour Congress (LLC) appealed to the management of LBS to exercise restraint and relax the suspension to enable the workers return to work.

Speaking on behalf of the suspended workers, Mr. Titus Tokpa also appealed to management to see reason to allow them return to work, noting that they are young and passion for the job.

The representative of the management of the LBS, Ms. Hattie Hunder, Deputy Director General for Administration, promised to revert to management with their appeal and get back to the Ministry in the shortest possible time.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Labor, thru its Trade and Union Division, warned the parties to stay out of the press while awaiting response from LBS management.

The Ministry of Labour is therefore taken aback that the suspended employees chose to say something contrary to the fact and hereby calls on media institutions to verify their stories before airing or publishing.

Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has expressed disappointment over the decision of the Management of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) to suspend three leaders of the entity's workers union.

The three union leaders - Titus Tokpa, Alfred Rogers and Richard Monibah, were suspended for two months on November 26, 2013 for advocating for the overdue salaries and benefits of the employees.

PUL terms the management's decision as suppressive and an attempt to silence the employees from speaking about their own welfare.

"Salary is a legitimate entitlement of workers and nobody should be punished for asking for what is due them," PUL President Peter Quaqua said in a press release issued in Monrovia on Monday.

The PUL said it is troubled by the level of intolerance demonstrated by the LBS management and calls on Director General, Ambrose Nmah to lift the suspension and engage the aggrieved employees.

This latest development at the State Radio, the release added, reinforces the need to reawaken and expedite the campaign for the transformation of the station into a public service broadcaster because employees and management deserve equal protection and job security.

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