Protesting ‘Redundant’ Arcelormital Workers Resume Work

first_imgThe decision was reached following the intervention of Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf in Ganta, Nimba County, when he brokered a peace deal between the two parties.Redundant workers of ArcelorMittal Liberia have agreed to cut off their protest actions against the company and resume work as the management has promised to reinstate them to the workforce as well as pay employee benefits, a release from the Ministry of Internal Affairs has said.According to the release, the decision was reached following the intervention of Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf on Thursday, November 14, 2019, in Ganta, Nimba County, when he brokered a peace deal between the two parties.An Internal Affairs Ministry’s press release said that the meeting, called by Minister Sirleaf, brought together the leadership of the protesters, representatives of ArcelorMittal management, and Nimba County Superintendent David Dorr Cooper, with each of them making significant inputs.Early Thursday, protesters in Grand Bassa and Nimba counties set up roadblocks on the train track which the company uses to transport iron ore from Nimba County to the port of Buchanan, in demand of their benefits or reinstatement to the workforce.Kingston Nyandibo, head of the redundant ArcelorMittal employees, said in a meeting that the workers and some of their family members embarked on the protest “because all efforts aimed at addressing their plights with the management have failed.”Nyandibo informed Minister Sirleaf that those affected include 769 workers, categorized as 363 employees, 366 contractors, and 40 others who were considered “illegally dismissed.”According to the protesters’ leadership, their redundancy was effected in 2015 and 2016 due to a drop in prices of iron ore on the international market, with an understanding that the company would recall them if prices rose again.“Instead, when prices improved beginning 2017, the company chose to hire a new batch of workers, which was in total disregard to the redundancy clause,” said Joseph G. Kaye, a spokesperson of the protesters.Kaye said they have been pursuing the matter with the company since May 2018.But Marcus S. Wleh, Head of Government Relations assigned with Arcelormital, has meanwhile appealed to the protesters to grant a two-week period for the company to sort out the relevant documentations that would lead to finding a permanent and amicable solution to the problem.Also, Minister Sirleaf assured that he will work with other government entities, including the Ministry of Labor and National Bureau of Concessions, to resolve the impasse.Based on Minister Sirleaf’s intervention, Nyandibo promised to immediately communicate with his colleagues as well as travel along the train track, pleading with his colleagues to remain calm and abort all protests.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Keeping an eye on the reforms

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A team from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund will on Monday start a rigorous check of Greece’s progress with implementing economic reforms.Officials from the three bodies are on a two-week mission to Athens to assess whether the government has met benchmarks required to draw down a second loan tranche in September from a 110 billion euros bail-out package funded by the EU and the IMF.The Greek Finance minister George Papaconstantinou said he was confident the next loan tranche would be disbursed on time as Greece had already outperformed the targets in an interview published over the weekend.He said, “We’ve fulfilled the June 30 targets, and gone a step further by having already passed the pension reform,” – a measure that had been due for completed later in the year, according to the EU-IMF program.Greece signed up in May to a three-year programme of fiscal and structural reforms in order to avert a sovereign default, after spreads on government bonds reached unsustainable levels.The fund said this month the government had made a “strong start” on reforms and was on track to achieve its target of reducing the budget deficit this year from 13.6 per cent to 8.1 per cent of gross domestic product.But it warned of looming budget overruns in public transport, the state healthcare system, social security funds and local government.The government should accelerate “privatising or closing down numerous state enterprises that have proven to cost taxpayers large sums of money,” it said.Greece’s lossmaking state-controlled transport companies – among them the railways and the Athens bus company – face mounting problems as domestic banks are refusing to provide operating loans in spite of state guarantees.The experts are expected to seek the immediate liberalisation of product and service markets, including the opening of so-called “closed” professions, from truck-driving to architects and notaries.“More needs to be done to overcome …. strong resistance” being put up by members of closed professions,” the fund said.The European Commission is pressing for a rapid deregulation of Greek energy markets, which could include a mandatory break-up of Public Power Corporation, the state electricity utility.The fund praised the government’s “determination” in pushing through fiscal reforms and a drastic overhaul of the state-funded pension system in spite of sustained opposition from trade unions.But Mr Papaconstantinou faces mounting opposition from within the governing socialist party to structural reforms that would result in large-scale redundancies at state enterprises.last_img read more