Workers of the Chinese road construction company, CHICO have returned to the job following a ten-day go-slow action. CHICO is the company reconstructing the road from the Guinean border to the Jor River in Gbarnga, Bong County. The resumption of work followed the company’s acceptance to increase the wages of its workers.
The agreement is a result of a meeting between the company and its workers, mediated by Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy last Wednesday at her Gbarnga office. The workers of CHICO had been calling for pay-rise and the provision of safety materials as they work.
After the meeting, The Bong County Superintendent urged the workers to return to the job on Monday the latest or be fired as per the agreement reached during the meeting attended by their representatives, noting that the go-slow action had not only caused embarrassment for county authorities, but the entire country as the road project was a national initiative.
Mappy said a conclusion was reached for the company to also provide a conducive working environment for its staff to include the provision of safety materials. During the meeting, also attended by several stakeholders, including Police commander, Col. Morris Teamah, it was announced that four workers were sent to court for violence in the way they presented their case.
Col. Teamah warned workers of CHICO not to engage in violence as the police were prepared to deal with people who want to be violent. The Regional Labor Commissioner of Bong County, James Too has told the New Dawn that his office would work with the company to ensure workers are paid according to their qualifications.
Authorities of CHICO have called on the workers to return to work as the company would do nothing to discourage them. Two officials of the company, Kelvin Dunn and Jerry Chan described the Chinese and Liberians as the same people, emphasizing the need to collaborate for development. Mr. Dunn and Mr. Chang has assured the workers that their security was guaranteed.