Nonstop go-slow at Arcelor Mittal
-As workers accuse mining giant of bad labor practice
By Thomas Domah / Nimba County
Nonstop go-slow is said to be continuing at ArcelorMittal Liberia mining facilities in Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties as over 800 employees are said to be demanding pay.
Report says normal activities came to a standstill on Wednesday, May 10, as workers continue to push their demands for payment.
“There will be no Work at this facility until our demands are met,” Mr. Chea Romeo Brooks, an aggrieved employee told reporters during an interview.
He explained that their decision to stop the company from carrying out any operation is based on the order from the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour calling on the company management to address the plight of the aggrieved employees.
The workers are demanding equal rights and equal pay for all, while accusing management of partiality.
According to the workers, since 2021 and up to present, management has refused to address their plights. They are demanding more health facilities; salary increments and more job opportunities for Liberians among others.
The aggrieved employees lamented that since 2021, they have been engaging the Management of ArcelorMittal and including the Ministry of Labour about their plights but there has been no redress.
Our correspondent said the action by the employees has affected mining activities at the company, adding equipment being used for mining, and transportation of ores from Yekepa, Nimba County to Grand Bassa County have been shut down.
“Truck drivers are paid 2,700 USD, but at ArcelorMittal, they paid us 750 US. They bring their brothers and sisters from outside of Liberia and pay them huge money compared to what they are paying us Liberians,” they added.
When contacted, the Management of ArcelorMittal – Liberia issued a statement confirming that during the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 10, 2023, some employees of ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) in Yekepa and Buchanan engaged in industrial action, stalling the company’s production and operations in both locations, posing a risk to other employees.
“As we monitor the situation closely, the safety and security of our employees, the community, and our contractors will continue to be of top priority. We are in contact with the Ministry of Labor and representatives of the workers’ union. The Ministry has scheduled a meeting with all parties to which we hope to find a resolution for all parties involved,”
The company statement further noted.