Liberia: Labor Ministry Revokes CHICO's Project Manager's Work Permit

Authorities at the Ministry of Labour have with immediate effect revoked the work permit of CHICO's Project Manager, Xu Tao assigned in River-Gee County, for acts incompatible with his status as an alien worker in Liberia.

This action of the Ministry is in line with Section 5 of the 2019 Revised Regulation #17 of the Ministry of Labor.

The Ministry of Labor has therefore requested the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), which has the statutory power to issue Resident Permit, to also invoke relevant portions of the Immigration and Naturalization Law of Liberia to revoke Mr. Tao's Resident Permit so as to prevent him from carrying out any illegal work in Liberia.

According to a release from the Ministry of Labor, the action to request the LIS to revoke Mr. Tao's Resident Permit is because the purpose for which Mr. Tao was offered Visa and Resident Permit to allow him to enter and stay in Liberia no longer exist, thereby giving him no reason to be in the Country.

This latest action by the Ministry of Labor comes as a result of the continual disregard and gross disrespect on the part of Mr. Tao, a Chinese national, for refusing to honor invitations from the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labor after several communications addressed to him through his employer (CHICO), citing him to respond to allegations levied against him by the National Timber, Wood, Construction and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (NTWCAWUL) for what the union considers as "continual violation of the rights of the workers, as well as the Collective Bargaining Agreement entered into between the Company and the Union". The latest of these complaints is dated May 22, 2020, in which the Union also accused Mr. Tao of allegedly humiliating and ill-treating Liberian employees.

On September 14, 2020, Ministry's communication signed by Labour Minister Moses Yarkpazuo Kollie and addressed to the General Manager of CHICO, the Ministry termed as disappointing and unacceptable refusal of Mr. Tao to honor several invitations requesting his appearance to respond to allegations against him. The Ministry added, the actions of Mr. Tao, has led to the immediate revocation of his Work Permit and that, he's not qualified to work in Liberia as of the date of the Ministry's communication to CHICO.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labor says it is currently carrying out a full-scale investigation into the complaints of the Union and will ensure that all necessary actions in keeping with applicable provisions of the Decent Work Act of Liberia are instituted impartially. At the same time, the Management of CHICO has been cited to respond to all allegations contained in the complaint of the Union as mentioned supra.

Labour Minister Moses Y. Kollie is also admonishing all alien workers in Liberia to be in full compliance with the Decent Work Act of Liberia and the Provisions of 2019 Revised Regulation #17 so as to avoid further action in keeping with the Labour laws of Liberia.

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