Labour Minister warns of revoking Foreign Workers Work Permit If…
Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson has warned Arcelor Mittal and foreign companies operating in Liberia of revoking the work permit of their foreign workers if they refuse to give first preference to Liberian citizens in their employ.
According to Minister Gibson, there are thousands of Liberians qualified and competent of doing works that those companies are bringing in foreign workers to perform in Liberia.
Minister Gibson pointed out that currently Liberians are graduating from various universities and skill training programs around the country, and as such, employers in Liberia must see the need to test the local job market by advertising those vacant positions in local newspapers, on the radios and websites to provide the opportunity for both Liberians in and out to apply instead of hiring foreign workers some of whom hardly speak English to transfer the job skills to Liberian counterparts.
The Liberia Labour Minister was speaking over the weekend when he served as guest speaker during the second graduation ceremony of ArcelorMittal Training Academy in Yekapa, Nimba County.
He used to occasion to call on the Company’s management to open additional two Training Institutes in Monrovia and Buchanan to afford many Liberians the opportunity of enrollments to gain skills and have access to employment.
At the same time, Minister Gibson emphasized that the Government of Liberia(GoL) position to the ArcelorMittal Management that the rail from Yekepa to Buchanan and the port are solvent asset and are not owned by any concession company, and as such, the government decides who uses it and how it should be used. He said there have been series of accidents on the rail, which caused serious injuries and Arcelor Mittal is not doing enough to address the situation.
Meanwhile, Minister. Gibson is encouraging the workers Union at Arcelor Mittal Liberia to open negotiation with their management through social dialogue on issues relating to increment of their salaries as they have done in the past.
He said the Ministry of Labour will engage the management of Arcelor Mittal in encouraging them to take actions aimed at taking steps to make increment in the workers’ salaries.
In response, ArcelorMittal Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jozephus Joep Coenen, assured the GoL through the Ministry of Labour that his company will continue to contribute to Liberia’s progress by investing in the tanning and development of the country’s future and its youthful population.
He said his company made a commitment which they will continue to prioritize because they believe it is strongly aligned with the long-term vision of Liberia’s developmental roadmap, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The AML CEO said, as they advance fast to phase two of their operations in Liberia, it is no doubt that they need more hands-on desk by moving into world-class operations with new mining technologies that require a well-trained and dynamic work force.
According to him, the phase two is for every Liberian and the country future.
He said nearly 3000 new jobs are being created with many positive benefits to ArcelorMittal-Liberia, the communities, counties, and the country at large.
He used the occasion to call on the graduates and Liberians to make maximize use of those opportunities and put their freshly acquired skills in working as the leaders of Liberia industrialization and development that nothing should hold them back in pausing for such opportunity.