Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson is calling on employers and employment institutions in the country to provide unrestricted access for Labour Inspectors to inspect their workplaces for safety, workers’ conditions at work, expatriates in their employed and other labour related violations.
Minister Gibson said that it has come to the attention of the Labour Ministry that Labour Inspectorate teams work are being hindered due to safety measures at some institutions which requires the Ministry to inform them one week before an inspection exercise. “We agreed that safety is paramount, but some time inspection need to be impromptus so that the credibility of its outcome is reflective of actual condition in the workplace”, He added.
Chapter 8.3 of the Decent Work Act of Liberia (Power of Labour Inspectors) mandate Labour Inspectors to enter freely and without previous notice at any hour of the day a workplace liable to inspection.
Minister Gibson stressed the need for the provision of safety materials for workers at all workplaces across the country.
Minister Gibson made these assertions over the weekend when he led a delegation from the Ministry to inspect condition of workers at the Bea Mountain operations site in Grand Cape Mount County.
Speaking at a meeting with representatives of the Management and Workers Union of the BEA Mountain, the Labour Minister disclosed that his visit to the company was to share the views of the Ministry of Labour on how it intends to work with actors in the labour sector to improve the condition of workplaces, and workers as well as the economy of the country.
The Liberian Labour Minister also frowned on institutions bringing expatriates in the country without acquiring work permit for work noting “they arrive at the airport and taking strict into camps and then truck out of the country thereby denying government of its needed revenue.”
Minister Gibson however, encouraged the management of BEA Mountain to publish all job vacancies as a means of giving Liberians the opportunity to compete for senior management level jobs at the company. He has at the same time stressed the need for the development of local capacity through the provision of scholarship in order to avoid bringing in the country expatriates.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Country Manager of BEA Mountain, Mr. Debbah Allen supported calls by Minister Gibson for the provision of safety materials for workers as well as the enforcement of safety measures at the company noting that “error on the part of one worker could affect the safety of the entire workforce.”
The BEA Mountain Manager then assured Minister Gibson of his company’s preparedness to ensure that safety is adhere to at all times in their workplaces.
For his part, a representative from the Workers union requested the Minister immediate intervention in ensuring that the continuous hiring of Liberians as daily hire by the company is brought to an end.
He added that it is frustrating to see non-Liberian serving as truck drivers, tyre repairers, mechanics and in other areas, while qualified Liberians are being used as daily hirers and carrying out the same duties.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour has scheduled series of conferences with the Management of BEA Mountain and its subcontractor company “DEKO Mining” to discuss issues relating to the operations of the companies in the country.
The Minister and delegation toured several facilities of the company workplace to establish conditions of work and workers.