Following A Week Off Job, SDPL Workers Agreed To Resume Work

Dozens of SDPL Workers at a mass meeting aimed at resolving the impasse

Dozens of workers of the Sime Darby Plantation Liberia in western Liberia (Bomi and Cape Mount Counties) today, Monday, April 2, 2018 following the intervention stakeholders agreed to return to work on Tuesday, April 3, 2018,  while they wait for the police investigation into the  accident that led to the death of an employee.

The workers went on a 7-day nonviolent strike action following the death of their colleague Okine Kollie which led them to peacefully lay down their working materials in demand for a speedy investigation, and also refused to go to work in solidarity for their colleague.

Mr. Alfred Summerville, Secretary General for the General Agriculture and Workers Union (GAWU)

At a well-attended mass meeting held on Monday in Klay, Bomi County with union workers, management and police, they earlier refused to return to work until they were paid for the seven days they were sitting at home.

Mr. Alfred Summerville, Secretary General for the General Agriculture and Workers Union (GAWU) said they needed assurance from management before he would instruct their workers to return to work. But after tense negotiations, they agreed to start work while the union and management look into their concerns.

Head of the police delegation, Chief of Traffic and Safety, John Saah addressing the gathering on the role of the police

“With what you have said, we will start work so that more days will not be added to the number of days. Based on this, I will tell my people to start work tomorrow (April 3, 2018),” he said.

“We will wait for the report from the police on the investigation. Also, since the minister of Justice and the Inspector General of police will be coming here on Saturday, it will be good for us to speak to them

The lawyer for the company, Cllr. Ebenezer Gibson stressing some legal points to the workers

The lawyer of the company, Cllr. Ebenezer Gibson said    it was important for everyone to work in harmony for the betterment of the company and the country. He thanked the union and management as well as police for the level of understanding that all parties have brought to bed.

Workers of the plantation went a go slow strike last week following the death of their colleague. The police head for Traffic and Safety, John Saah said for the first time, they have invited a civilian to be part of their investigation team.

Another member of the police delegation from the CID division also spoke

“As you know, you seconded the vice president for the union to be with us along all part of the investigation. So, they is clear. He is your eye witness.  Do you trust him? “ he asked them.

The crowd answered in the affirmative.

Dozens of SDPL workers at a mass meeting to resolve the impasse

Then he continued: “Since you have trust in him, will you accept the outcome of our investigation?”  The workers answered: “yes.  We will accept the result.”

“We have come here to tell you that, we will carry out an investigation into this case.  The one that has to do with labor (talking about seven day payment, is not our business),” Commissioner Saah said.

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About Cholo Brooks 11563 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.