The Minister of Labour Atty. Neto ZarZar Lighe has lauded business institutions operating in the country for their level of commitment and support to the Government of Liberia’s fight against the Ebola virus. According to a press release, the Labour Minister made the commendation during separate meetings with stakeholders of the Labour sector at his office in Monrovia.
The meeting was intended to solicit stakeholders’ expectations on the Ebola crisis, the status of (employed) expatriates both currently on the job and others who have traveled due to the Ebola virus, their possible return and work permit retention, among other post-Ebola employment issues.
Minister Lighe said the Ministry of Labour was highly impressed by measures put in place by employees to prevent the spread of the virus at workplaces in the country, especially those with functional health centers that are involved with the treatment of suspected Ebola patients.
He said the Ministry of Labour is responsible to ensure there a decent work environment at all times and consider the Ebola virus disease as an occupational safety and health issue that requires a collective fight by both government, partners, employees, and the general public.
He informed the stakeholders that in order to increase the awareness of the prevention of Ebola at the workplace, the ministry has issued a public service announcement and press release, calling on all employees both formal and informal to maintain buckets or vessels with faucets attached to enable workers and visitors to wash their hands during working hours.
He said the Ministry of Labour has at the same times ordered labour commissioners and inspectors to inspect all business and industrial establishments across the length and breadth of the country to ensure compliance with these preventives measures initiated by the ministry as well as measures announced by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The Labour boss emphasized the importance of knowledge transfer from expatriate employees to Liberians to enable them acquire the needed knowledge to assume future roles in these institutions. He also stressed the importance of equal work for equal pay, improvement of better wages for Liberians, provision of safety gears at the workplace and the opportunity for employees to unionize.
He also informed the various sectors of the availability of data bank at the Ministry of Labour within which the names and qualification of Liberians are stored and that the various sectors should take advantage of said data bank when recruiting for Liberians.
Minister Lighe since taking over has held several consultative meetings with major stakeholders in the Labour sector, including the Agriculture, Mining, Banking, Telecommunication/GSM sectors and Lebanese and Indian communities.