A three day National Labour Conference organized by the Ministry of Labour in collaboration with partners has ended in Monrovia with a collective call to harmonizing the Labor laws of Liberia which comprises of the Decent Work Act and the Civil Service Standing Orders of both the Ministry of Labour and the Civil Service Agency (CSA).
The three-day event which was held under the theme “Decent Workforce under one Labour Law” brought together representatives from the Government, the Employers and Employees’ Organizations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as civil society institutions. Also in attendant at the close of the event were the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Republic of Ghana, Bright Wireko-Bobby (MP), Madam Daddeh-Tulay of Solidarity Center of the United States amongst others international guests and personalities.
Speaking at the close of the conference, Labour Minister, Moses Yarkpazuo Kollie thanked the participants and promised to utilize the resolution of the conference as it relates to addressing issues affecting the Labour Sector of Liberia. He named Trafficking in Person (TIP), Child Labour, HIV and AIDS in the Workplace as well as the harmonization of labor practices laws as practical steps needed in order to improve the Labor Sector.
Minister Kollie noted that throughout the conference, the participants have consistently considered issues of harmonization and amendment of the labor laws, developing new approaches to handling workplace disputes these he believes need to be given key consideration by Government, the employers, workers and members of Human Resources associations.
The Liberian Labour Minister further encouraged participants to consider Dialogue as an appropriate means of handling issues coming out of workplaces. Doing so, he said, employees issue will firstly be handled at the National Tripartite Council so as to avoid going directly to the Ministry. Minister Kollie emphasized that dialogue should now be the order of the day and emotional dismissal as well as strike actions should be the last resort.
He used the occasion to acknowledge the personal support of the President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah, the ILO and all those who contributed to the successful holding of the conference and promised to work with partners to ensure that the conference become an annual event.
For his part, the President of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), representing Employers Association, Mr. Wendell Addy praised the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour for organizing a conference that brought together all stakeholders of the Labour Sector of the country to discuss and understand roles and problems of each other. He stressed the need for dialogue between employers and employees as a means of reducing tension in the workplace and called on Liberians to support efforts by their leaders.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberian employees, the Secretary General of the Liberia Labour Congress (LLC), Mr. David D. Sackoh said, his institution will work to promote social dialogue at workplace around the country. He assured the gathering that LLC will ensure bipartite discussions between employers and employees in helping to reduce disputes in the workplace.
Meanwhile, organizers and delegates have constituted a Resolution Drafting Committee, charged with the responsibility to prepare a draft resolution of the conference. As part of its mandate, the Committee will present the draft resolution to the National Tripartite Council (NTC) two weeks before the sitting of the Council.
The Committee is comprised of two (2) members from the delegates (a male and female) and one member each from the Tripartite members (Employers, Employees and Government). Those named to the Committee are: Mr. Edwin B. Cisco and Madam Kladee Nuefville, representing the delegates. Madam Ophelia Carpenter-LLC, Mr. Henry Harmon-LCC and Mr. Phil T. Dixon, Deputy Minister of Labour for Manpower Planning and Human Resource Development, represents the Government of Liberia.