About 200 parking attendants from the Monrovia City Cooperation or MCC have protested here, calling on President Sirleaf and the Liberian Legislature to immediately halt the City Corporation from awarding a contract to a Ghanaian national, H. Kwaku Addy of the Liberia Services Corporation, Inc.
They protested early Thursday, 21 July near the Stella Maris Polytechnic opposite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, temporary office of the President carrying placards with inscriptions reading: “Madam President, please don’t carry us back to slavery”; “We need employment, not contract”; and “Liberians first, not friendship Madam President.”
Under the terms of a sub-contractual agreement between the MCC and the LSCI, the latter is responsible to execute three cardinal duties, including the management of horizontal parking spaces within the City of Monrovia, collection of revenues for billboards erected at various city intersections and alcoholic beverage centers.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, the supervisor of the MCC parking attendants Landry W. Bedell claimed the MCC Management has informed them that a contract earlier won by the City Corporation is to be transferred to the Liberia Services Corporation INC.
Bedell said they do not want that to happen because it would render all 200 parking attendants jobless. The attendants provide parking services to vehicles for a little fee of 35 or 50 Liberian Dollars. He also said they have been informed by their boss that if the contracts remain with MCC, the possibility of employment will be very high something he says they pray for.
According to him, during the tenure of ex-mayor Marry Broh, similar contract was awarded to the LSC INC. and many of them worked with that entity under harsh condition and bad atmosphere. Bedell narrated they were underpaid with no time to go to school, including reduction in salary and lack of protection on the job, among others.
The MCC, he disclosed was once cheated by the LSC INC. and took the entity to court and the court ruled the company should be shut down, and that the MCC ,ust take over the parking services. Bedell maintains they will continue the protest until an amicable solution is found that will ensure that they go back to job.
But the Public Relations Officer for the Liberia Services Corporation INC. Emmanuel G. Garsua described claims made Bedell as complete fallacy. Garsua said the LSC INC. already has a contract that was singed with the MCC during the tenure of Madam Broh, so the entity was not getting into a contractual agreement as claimed by the MCC workers.
He further narrated the MCC ran to the civil law court to hijack the contract by violating stipulation in the contract. The contractual agreement from 2011 signed between LSCI and the MCC according to him, requires the LSCI to manage horizontal parking spaces within the City of Monrovia, collects revenues from billboard signs and also connects revenues from beverage centers.
Garsua detailed that later in 2012, the MCC decided to alter the contract, specifically the provision on the collection of revenues from billboards and beverage centers, leaving the LSCI with only the management of horizontal parking spaces in the city.
He said clauses in the first contract says the LSCI has a due diligence to report 25 percent of revenues collected to the MCC, which he said they did not fail to do. Garsua noted the current City Mayor did not review the contract, but went to the Civil Law Court for cancellation of the contract.
He told this paper the protestors are a few hand full of people bent on causing trouble for the company. He claimed President Sirleaf saw all documents from the court which were in favor of the LSCI and told them to go back and sign the contract.
By Ramsey N Singbeh, Jr-Editing by Jonathan Browne