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Hell breaks loose at Cocopa

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-Workers rampage for pay
Employees of the Cocopa Rubber Plantation in electoral district# 8, Nimba County have erected roadblocks to the plantation, preventing movement of pedestrians and vehicles in demand of five months’ salary arrears owed them by management.

Report from Nimba says the aggrieved employees over the weekend set up blockade along the Ganta-Southeast route, disrupting normal activities. They claimed management is indebted to them since October 2015 to present.

According to the Cocopa Workers Union, management has allegedly refused to pay the employees. Some of the aggrieved employees complained of lack of basic services including health and roads, among others.

The NewDawn’s Nimba Correspondent, who visited the plantation, said the industrial action by the workers started since March 1, 2016 when they embarked on a go-slow, forcing the management team to shut down all services, including schools and clinic, among others.

The protesting workers occupied the main road from the Southeast to Ganta, chanting: we need our pay; no pay no travel. They explained that the protest is intended to inform government about their plight.
No member of the management team was available for comment during the visit by this paper.

The Cocopa Rubber Plantation had previously been operated by Americans for over 60 years, but after they pulled out, the Government of Liberia renamed the plantation Nimba Rubber Incorporated and appointed current Forestry Development Authority (F.D.A.) Managing Director Harrison Karnwea, to head the management team.

Meanwhile, the authorities of Nimba have intervened and pleaded with workers to abandon the protest while efforts are being exerted to have their concerns addressed.  Superintendent Fong Zuagele, stressed the need for the workers to collaborated with the county authorities in seeking a peaceful redress to their demand.

By Franklin Doloquee,Nimba-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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