President George Manneh Weah has stressed the need to reconcile the differences between the provision, coverage, and inclusion of the Decent Work Act and those of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) standing order.
President Weah noted that a number of vital reforms have been made to address the needs and rights of the formal, domestic and casual workers in the private sector which include the launch of the National Employment Policy and the centralization of labour unions under the Liberia Labour Congress.
Speaking when he launch the Liberia National Labour Conference at the Monrovia City Hall on Monday, the Liberian leader, however, pointed out that employees in the public sector are governed under the CSA standing order where there is no recognition, participation, and compliance of the functions and laws of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
He said this has not only deprived Liberian public servants of their basic rights as workers under the Liberian Constitution as well as the ILO conventions to which Liberia is a signatory, but has also led to labour market sternness and confusion in the administration and governance of the Liberian labour sector.
The Chief Executive hoped the conference will produce a conducive atmosphere for all stakeholders, including lawmakers, members of the judiciary, international partners and the labour leaderships in Liberia to arrive at constructive decision about all aspects of the Liberian labour laws with a view of harmonizing all inconsistencies.
According to President Weah, he also anticipates that the deliberations will result in the provision of equal protection of workers in both the public and private sectors of the Liberian workforce and advised labour unions in Liberia to make dialogue the order of the day.
He also called members of labour unions in the country to protect their institutions and laws by promoting good governance through the election of leaders who will not only push their own interest but the interest of their unions, stressing: “Make dialogue the order of the day in order to sustain the peace.”
“To get to the street should be the last resort; when the country is peaceful we will jointly tackle the issues of child labour, rape and other labour-related issues; do not allow your leaders to put you in the streets,” the Liberian leader emphasized.
He lauded authorities of the Ministry of Labour for organizing the conference at a time when Liberians are enjoying the dividends of peace and anticipating the prospects and promise of national reconciliation, stressing: “In keeping with this spirit, I believe it is timely that you have gathered to deliberate on the harmonization of the labour laws of Liberia.”
The conference is being held under the theme: “A Decent Workforce Under One Labour Law”.