Monrovia — For the second day, the Bushrod Island Power Station of the Liberia Electricity Corporation was a no-go-zone for senior staffers, following a protest by aggrieved workers that led to shutting down of the power grid and locking of offices.
They were protesting against alleged bad labor practice and the maltreatment of one of their colleagues Peter Dukuly, who they said died as a result of maltreatment meted against him by LEC Management.
"Because of the maltreatment meted against the late Dukuly by our bosses, he could not bear it and has to die from depression," one of the aggrieved said.
The aggrieved in chanted slogans and promised to remain uncompromising in their action until the Management of LEC can make advances to address their lights.
The two-day dramatic scene which begun on Tuesday, July 6, was not only a protest against malpractices but in demand of reimbursement of a 30 percent slice in salary by the management and a call to dismiss three ex-pats occupying senior management positions at the Liberian electricity body.
Recently, the LEC Management announced the slashing of salaries of its staff by 30 percent, due to what the entity term as a decline in revenue generation and limited financial cash flow of the LEC.
The financial constraint, according to LEC, is due to lack of revenue and commercial losses, incurred on the entity, by the George Manneh Weah administration, which has placed the entity in a challenging state to address key financial problems, including payment of incentives
As a result, the LEC said it is only able to pay 70 percent of the workers' salary, beginning this June.
"Until the situation can be improved, the action will affect all salary disbursements. This situation will continue with all subsequent salary disbursement until there is an improvement in the financial state of LEC," LEC stated in a memo to its staff.
However, the LEC also clarified that the reduction is not a lasting salary reduction, on grounds that the remaining 30 percent balance salary will be paid to all staff only when the future financial state of LEC is improved.
Lauding workers for their commitment and dedication, the LEC in the communication said: " Please note, this exercise is not a salary reduction, but a necessary course of action by the LEC at this point, due to the current cash flow state of LEC."
But the aggrieved said they are not responsible for the decline in revenue generation, but key officials, as such they must not bear then punishment.
They alleged that key actors in government to include National Port Authority Managing Director Bill Twehway and Senator Edwin Snowe among others are yet to address their current bill, which might be a factor in the decline in cash flow.
They want the management to also dismiss three ex-pats, two of which are from the United Kingdom and one from Nigeria, who is said to be the only commercial meter expert.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved said it was not appropriate that staffers serve as contractors of over four to five years at the entity, without being employed.
As such, they have resolved to shut down the electricity supply until their demands are met.
This will go for one week, we have already shut Mt. Coffee down.