Several contractors at the Bedrock Construction Company in Suakoko District, Bong County have threatened to stage a demonstration on the main campus of the Cuttington University (CU) in demand of the remainder of their pay from the construction company.
Bedrock Construction Company Liberia, Inc. won a contract sometime ago to pave major streets at the Cuttington University main campus in Suakoko. Some contactors who spoke to this paper recently expressed total disappointment over the maltreatment they allegedly received from the company and the administration of the University, vowing to stage demonstration if their concerns cannot be addressed by the company.
The contractors claim that Bedrock Construction Company owes over 40 contractors over $70,000 Liberians dollars each. The aggrieved contractors are claiming that since the completion of the road pavement on the University campus, the administration of the company has refused to pay them for the last two months they allegedly worked for. According to them, anytime they contact the administrators of the company, the company would allegedly say “there is not a cent in our account” to pay any worker for now.
The contractors allege that the company is awaiting Cuttington to its debt before it could pay them, saying “Since we completed the road on this campus in December, our bosses have all left for Monrovia and we have not gotten any understanding as to when our balance two months’ salary will be paid.”
“Anytime we call the CEO of the company Mr. Paker Barcolleh, he normally tells us that he will pay when Cuttington pays his debt. They have refused to give our money and for now our children are being put out of school and we are all family people. For that reason, we came this morning and locked the offices of the company because we heard that they want to escape with the balance materials overnight,” the aggrieve contractors alleged.
According to them, since the signing of contracts with the company, they have never been paid regularly.When contacted, the company CEO Mr. Paker Barcolleh told this paper that the company is concerned about the situation and adds that they are in conversation with authorities at the university to bring the situation under control.
Mr. Barcolleh admitted that the administration of the company promised to meet settle the contractors in December but due to the inconvenience caused by the Cuttington University, the institution was unable to make the payment of its staff.
He explained that based upon the agreement with the University, the company took a loan from IB Bank and used it to facilitate the first portion of the job on the campus.
He claims that the administration of the University headed by Dr. Herman Browne owes the company ver US$100,000. Mr. Barcolleh alleges that all efforts have been applied to draw the attention of the University, but to no avail.
The company boss called on the aggrieved workers to remain patient as the administration is doing all in its weak way to meet their salary demands.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley