29 May 2019

Liberia: Two Trade Unionists Seek Clarity On Protest

Photo: New Republic
Some officials of the Council of Patriots during a previous press conference

As the 07 June protest draws near, two members of the Liberia Labour Congress (LLC) and the Dock Workers Union of Liberia are demanding clarity from their leaders whether or not their organizations, which represent a large number of working people in Liberia, would participate in the pending protest.

Both trade union organizations control hundreds of workers and play an advocacy role on issues that affect their interest by seeking solutions that impact their lives.

Two members of the organizations James Williams and Patrick Koffa say they and their colleagues are yet to know whether their respective organization would participate in the protest, as noting has been said by their respective leadership.

According to them, Liberia is at the crossroads where issues affecting the people are being talked about with no concern shown by the two institutions controlling large portion of the labor market of the country.

They recall that in the past, their leaderships were pro-active on matter of national concern, wondering why up to now, no official from both unions has come out with any position statement on the June 7 protest, which among other things, seeks to champion the struggle for a stable economy where the plight of working people and ordinary citizens are protected.

They further recall that on 1 May, the Liberia Labour Congress issued a statement in Monrovia, highlighting constrains faced by workers in the country, including current state of the Liberian economy, not limited to government granting Civil Servants right to be certificated as National Trade Union; government identifying key development priorities; government tackling the high level of unemployment and entrenchment of workers across all sectors as well as hike in prices of basic commodities as a result of escalation of the United States dollars against the Liberian dollar.

Messers Williams and Koffa continue that since the celebration of World Labor Day in Liberia, no official statement whatsoever has been issued by their organizations to indicate whether or not, workers in the country will join protesters scheduled to assemble 07 June in demand of reforms, thereby leaving them to hang in the balance.

They emphasize that what is presently obtaining in the country affects every Liberian, so there is a need for the two institutions to clearly say if their memberships would be part of the protest.According to them, failure to take a clear position on matters of state, posterity will definitely judge them.

When this writer contacted offices of both trade unions over the weekend, coupled with phone calls, there was no response on the matter.The 07 June protest is being organized by the group, Council of Patriots, supported by opposition political parties here.By Emmanuel Mondaye-

Editing by Jonathan Browne

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