US Ambassador And Labour Minister Discuss Job Creation

US Ambassador and Labor Minister

Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson has said that the more availability of jobs for Liberians in the Labour Market will lessen the burden being put on government and enhance national security of the country.

Minister Gibson said creation of job is predicated upon one objective; which is to ensure that the workplace is enhance and ensure that it has harmony for economy growth through increase employment opportunities.

The Liberian Labour Minister was speaking Tuesday, February 23, 2021 when the Ambassador of the United States of America, Michael McCarthy paid him a courtesy called at his Labour Ministry Office at the Ministerial Complex in Monrovia.

The Minister informed Amb. McCarthy that many people often misconstrue the functions of the Ministry of Labour to be where people come to judge problems between workers and employers because trade unions and disputes at  workplaces take up most of its time. But as per the mandate of the Ministry, job creation is high on the agenda.

On the issue of encouraging investors, the Labour Minister maintained “It has always been our objective. We want to employ, but again nowhere to employ because there must be an employer before we can get an employee and so sometime, we are found in the middle of situation, we want to ensure that employers remains in the country and ensure that they reinvest at the same time,  some workers are there agitating for their rights; of course, if we want to go straightly by the letters, the company may just falloff and leave. When they leave, there will be just no job for our people. So sometimes we ensure that if there are liabilities to workers to be settle, we spread it over a period of time to be paid.

Sometimes months or a year. So the employer will have the opportunity to continue operations and at the same time making settlement of its liability to the workers over time.”

Minister Gibson added that without investment, Liberia cannot grow its economy, but noted that there are high employment opportunity in the agriculture sector of the Country.

Labour Minister Gibson further informed the U. S. Ambassador of the Government of Liberia commitment to improving its performance in the fight against human trafficking in Liberia in line with the United States, State Department ranking on Trafficking In Persons (TIP).

“We also want to ensure that human trafficking is brought to the minimum if not curtail in our Country. We being working with your Embassy and our standing as it relates to performance had increase, we are working very hard to ensure that it increase again. To achieve that, we have done four things: 1. Established a modern Safe-Home for victims of trafficking and child labour, 2. Involved child labour issues as part of the fight, 3. Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with five local NGOs to roll-out educational and awareness raising campaign on trafficking and child labour, and 4. Ensure that prosecution of cases are fast-track.

For his part, the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy said the real solution to addressing some the major challenges in the labour market of Liberia is job and the real way out is foreign investment noting that “Without foreign investment, I don’t think you can dig your way of this situation”.

He said that in order to have continuous improvement in the labour market that Liberia is yielding will depend on how the government treats large investors in concession areas saying, but it has to be a win-win situation with both sides respected and are getting real gain.

“But the fact is, investors look for stability, so the more regular you become, the more attractive you are to investors, the better you treat the existing investors and as long as everyone is respecting both sides of the agreement, the more new investors will come” Amb. McCarthy noted.

The US Ambassador further informed Labour Minister Gibson that the work of the Ministry of Labour is absolutely critical and is an important part of the solution and that he hopes that going forward, the Ministry will be able to contribute the same sense of working to lower the risk to investors and lower the questions by having stronger systems, especially the rule of law.

He used the visit to praise the Government of Liberia and the National Human Trafficking Taskforce for achievements in the fight against Trafficking In-Persons (TIP), especially following the Country’s leaving the Tier-2 Watch List to Tier-2.

“Everyone were happy to hear that last year that Liberia have left the Tier-2 Watch List and we hope that you keep with these records.”

Amb. McCarthy spoke of the long and special relationship between Liberia and the United States of America and hope to work with the Government of Liberia to enhance this relationship. He was accompanied to the Ministry of Labour by Mr. Joel A. Kopp, Political and Economic Counselor at the Embassy of the United States of America, and Ms. April O’Neill, Director, Democracy, Rights and Governance Office of USAID-Liberia.

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