The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Correction Officers Strike for Salary

Several Correction Officers assigned in Gbarnga, Bong County at the Central Prison have embarked on an indefinite strike action demanding government's failure to pay them for six months. The Superintendent of the Gbarnga Central Prison, Feshell Dean, in a radio interview (Truth FM 96.1) on Monday, December 23, 2013, confirmed the workers' action but said efforts were underway to pay the aggrieved workers.

"Yes, prison officers at the Gbarnga Central Prison Center are on strike," he confirmed.

Mr. Dean said the action of the aggrieved officers is making things increasingly difficult for him particularly in attending to inmates. "My workload has increased because of the action of the aggrieved workers," he said.

He further explained that the Ministry of Justice has been partnering with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for Correction Officers at the prison to open a deposit account with EcoBank, but said the process has failed.

Commenting on the condition of the inmates, Mr. Dean denied media reports that conditions of inmates at the center had deteriorated. He described the situation as false and misleading saying, "The conditions of our inmates are intact." Meanwhile, media report reaching the INQUIRER says several residents in Gbarnga have expressed fear over the go-slow action of the Correction Officers.

The report says residents are complaining that the action of the Correction Officers has posed threat to the peace and stability of the city especially during this Christmas and New Year seasons. They have called on the Ministry of Justice to address the plights of the officers.

Others described the strike action of the officers as a bad news for the security sector which could threaten the stability of the county and fear amongst citizens of the county.

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