The President General of the General Agriculture and Allied Workers’ Union of Liberia (GAAWUL), Mr. James T. Geaves has expressed concerns over the failure of the House of Representatives to invite Union Leaders for expert opinion during their discussion on the recet decision to amend portion of the Liberian labour law that would affect them directly.
Speaking on Friday, February 25, 2022, at the program marking the 5th induction ceremony of the newly elected officers of the GAAWUL held at the St. Anthony Catholic Church Hall in Gardnersville, Mr. Geaves said, the House of Representatives recently passed and forwarded to the House of Senate for concurrence, a Bill to amend several and key provisions of the Decent Work bill of 2015 which is the Labour Law of the Country.
He narrated that, the Trade Union Movements in Liberia strongly believe that the House of Representatives was misled and misinformed, especially in respect to clauses/provisions to “Divide the National Unions” and its locals’ leaders without taking into consideration the most important aspect of the law, which has to do with increment of the minimum wage and salary of workers of Liberia.
Greaves maintains that, this act on the part of the House of Representatives runs counterproductive to the very reasons Umbrella Unions were organized and has the tendency to undermine and cause chaos within Trade Union Movements of Liberia, and at the level of the industries in the Country
“We are all aware that the National Legislature has been strong partners of the Trade Union Movement in Liberia, evidenced by the passage of the Decent Work Act of 2015 and other relevant laws. We have always applauded them where and when necessary, and we will also not hesitate to call them and point out their errors when appropriate”, he emphasized.
GAAWUL president is however calling on the Senate not to concur with the House of Representatives on the amendments to the Decent Work act, noting that it will negatively affect Trade Unions in Liberia.
“We herewith remind the National Legislature that National Unions came into existence at the request of the grassroot workers. The general workers at the time believed that the local leaders were direct employees of companies; therefore, sitting and negotiating with the same employers have led to a belief by the workers of alleged compromises by the local union leaders and did not achieve the maximum benefits that the workers expected.
Accordingly, they requested and ensured the establishment of a Neutral National body to help champion and push their cause to protect and buttress the local unions negotiating team to revert said system that had so many controversies when things have stabilized because of the presence of a national union, may lead to labour confrontation and disharmony as was in the past when there was no neutral body” Mr. Geaves maintained.
The GAAWUL’s President General urged the President of the Republic of Liberia H.E George Weah to sing the song of Solidarity, render Solidarity to the workers of Liberia and play a crucial role by not allow the house of the Senate to concur with the house of representatives.