The Sime Darby Plantation Liberia, based in western Liberia is once again in the news as dozens of employees earmarked to be redundant and dismissed by the Company have threatened to stage a mass strike action at the Plantation.
According to one Foday Q. fahnbulleh who claimed to be one of those dismissed by the Company, said in an exclusive interview with journalists in Monrovia that their bid for a ‘massive strike action’ on the Plantation is geared towards the ‘Ill-treatment’ being melted against employees by been dismissed under the canopy that there is no money, and at the same time hiring new employees with attractive salaries and benefits.
Last week, the Ministry of Labour ordered an immediate halt to the planned redundancy exercise by the Management of the Sime Darby Plantation, Liberia Inc. A Labour Ministry press release issued in Monrovia 16 November quotes a communication from the office of the Acting Minister of Labour, Augustine W. Williams as calling on the Management of the company to put a halt to the process and revert to the legal course under the law.
The Ministry in a press release said it acknowledges a receipt of a communication on September 23, 2017 from the management concerning a planned redundancy exercise, citing economic reasons.
The Ministry notes that immediately upon receipt of the communication, [it] requested the management to put a halt to the planned redundancy until all of the processes attending such exercise were fulfilled or certified in keeping with Chapter 14, Section 14.5 (j) of the Decent Work Act of 2015.
This Section calls on employers to “(i) disclose all relevant information necessary for the recognized trade union, the workplace representative and/or the employees affected to engage effectively in negotiations over the intended terminations of employment.
It also demands negotiation in good faith with the recognized trade union, the workplace representative and/or the employees affected about alternative to termination of the employees’ employment; the criteria for selecting the employees whose employment is to terminated; and measures to reduce the number of terminations of employment as far as possible.
Additionally, it notes the conditions on which any terminations of employment are to take place; ways to avert the adverse effects of the terminations of employment; and any priority for re-hiring that should be given to the employees whose employment is terminated.
The Ministry of Labour maintains that considering the critical nature of this matter, it would highly appreciate a dialogue on this matter so as to amicably resolve it.
Efforts to contact the Company’s public relations officer proved unsuccessful, as investigation continues.