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CHICO workers embark on go-slow

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Over 300 workers of China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO) are on go- slow in demand of the establishment of Workers Union, attractive salaries and job protection, respectively.

Our correspondent says the aggrieved workers were seen with placards around the compound of the CHICO Construction Company along the Gbarnga, Palala Highway in Bong County chanting slogans: “We want worker union, we want worker decent salary.”

Addressing reporters at CHICO’s compound in Kpaii District on Monday 28 January, the spokesperson of the aggrieved workers Mohammed Sheriff stated that their go –slow is intended to draw the attention of the Ministry of Labor, the workers union of Liberia and the authority of Bong County.

The protesters want these groups to help establish a workers union at CHICO and to also ensure the increment in salaries and job protection at the Chinese company.Their spokesman says the worker union when established will serve as protection of workers of the Chinese company.

Mohammed Sheriff at the same time has fears that the Ministry of Labor and members of the Legislature here are allegedly in the pocket of the foreign company operating the country.They however call on government to address their concerns as laborers at the Chinese company operating in Bong and other parts of the Country.

The protesters outline several counts including low salary; overtime work; deduction of salaries; lack of security, identification cards and workers union.They are also complaining about the alleged assaulting of some workers by officials of the Company, among others.

The company is yet to respond to the allegations on grounds that its spokesperson is absent.An insider who refused to be named has told this paper that they will not respond until the official spokesperson returns to the Country.

When contacted by this paper, Bong County Labor Commissioner Sayblee Weyea says his office recently received a written communication from CHICO workers about their concerns, maintaining that they are expected to host a planned meeting with management of the company in an effort to address some of the concerns.

He also urges the aggrieved workers to remain calm as the Ministry works out modalities to address the situation.Commissioner Sayblee Weyea warns the aggrieved workers to go back to job or stand the risk of losing their jobs.
-Demand decent salary and job protection
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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