The Plenary of the House of Representatives has summoned the Management at the privately – run Farmington Hotel near the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County to appear and address claims of bad labor practice and to give reasons why it should not be held in contempt.
Based on a decision reached by the House on Tuesday, 6 March, the Hotel’s management is due to appear on Thursday, 8 March to answer to a complaint from Margibi County Rep. Ivar Jones.
Rep. Jones accuses Farmington Hotel of allegedly engaging in bad labor practice against local employees and obstructing legislative functions by ordering the complaining lawmaker to get out of the hotel.
It could be the first of its kind for the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature to summon a private entity to give reason why it should not be held in contempt.
“Honorable Speaker, while the aggrieved workers were explaining their grievances, the chief of security of the hotel, Alvin Tarpeh entered the discussion and asked me out,” Rep. Jones told his colleagues.
He has pleaded with his colleagues to exercise their oversight responsibility by conducting an investigation into allegation of bad labor practice which is against the country’s labor law.
Rep. Jones complains to the Speaker that while lawmakers enjoyed the Hotel’s hospitality during a recent Legislative Orientation, it is bad to know that the rights of citizens and workers at Farmington Hotel that are instrumental in providing those services are being violated.
Some violations allegedly carried out against employees include insults, assaults, intimidation and denial to organize a Workers Union, Rep. Jones alleges. “Honorable Speaker, distinguish colleagues, there are lots of profanity the workers alleged that are used on them which I can’t quote directly in my communication. The Human Resource Manager Daniel Cephus, also intimidated the employees by videotaping them, thus, showing gross disrespect to my Honorable Office,” he adds.
Rep. Jones discloses that he was briefed by some of the local workers about the inhumane treatment during the Legislative Orientation Retreat for Lawmakers organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
He has also stated in his communication that specific emphasis was placed on Richard Robaix, the Hotel’s General Manager. Following intense debate on the matter, the House Plenary agreed that the management of the Farmington Hotel be invited to appear before the full body on Thursday, 8 March to show reasons why it should not be held in contempt for obstructing legislative work of the lawmaker and to answer question on allegation of bad labor practice.
The decision was reached based on a motion proffered by Grand Kru County Electoral District #2 Rep. Jay Nagbe Sloh.Meanwhile, a motion for reconsideration was raised by Nimba County Representative Jeremiah Koung, but Speaker Bhofal Chambers denied it.
But the Speaker’s action is said to be wrong under legislative practice. Under the rules of the House of Representatives, a motion for reconsideration is a unique motion that cannot be rejected by the presiding officer.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley