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More job cuts expected

The Senate’s Chairman on Concession, Contracts and Monopolies, Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson of Bomi County has warned here that there could be more redundancy if the government failed to institute serious austerity measures.

Senator Johnson disclosed that he has received information from the senior managerial authorities of Arcelor Mittal that there are plans to downsize a huge portion of their employees.

Lamenting what appears to be a sad story for the Liberian economy, he said a meeting was being scheduled with the management of Arcelor Mittal for more detail and a way forward that the action will not greatly affect the already unemployed population here.

Speaking to members of the Legislative Press Pool Wednesday in Monrovia, Sen. Johnson also disclosed Firestone Rubber Plantation-Liberia is experiencing some huge drop in its sales as a result of in global prices.

According to him, the management of Firestone Liberia said the price of rubber pound has dropped from US$2.50 cent to 0.53 cent, and that the management spends US$2.00 to produce a pound.

He suggested that Liberia has been hit with serious financial drought because of the drop in sale of the country’s main natural resources. Johnson, who won on the ticket of the National Patriotic Party of former President Charles Taylor, noted that companies are crying for financial drought because the government did not perform proper due diligence, investigations and counter-check before awarding contracts to them.

He said after 14 years of civil conflict, government’s major concern was how to encourage investors into the country and how foreign investors could help in building confidence in the broken economy.

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He said led despite the huge desire for jobs at the time, the government should have done much better by verifying some of the information provided by concession companies.
Recently, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced that ArcelorMittal plans to cut 450 jobs here and lower iron ore exports as it battles to reduce costs.

ArcelorMittal Liberia said its executives had met with union leaders earlier to inform them of the pending layoffs.
“We deeply regret that the current economic environment is not allowing us to maintain employment at the current level,” Michel Prive, chief executive of ArcelorMittal Liberia, said in the statement emailed late on Tuesday.

In another move to reduce costs, the company, which owns the Tokadeh Mountain mine, will beginning January 2016 only operate during the dry season and sell 3 million tonnes of direct shipping ore or DSO to Europe.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor_Edited by Jonathan Browne

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