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Protest at Abi Jaoudi

-Aggrieved employees demand salary in Dollars
Employees of the Abi Jaoudi Enterprise, one of Liberia’s oldest business establishments, have protested in Monrovia over the abrupt conversion of their monthly salaries from United States dollars to Liberian dollars, allegedly without prior notice.

They are calling on the Ministry of Labor, which regulates labor activities in the country to quickly intervene to have the Abi Jaoudi Management explain why their salaries were abruptly converted to local currency.

The aggrieved employees, who are Liberians, narrated that confusion erupted between them and the management on the compound of the entity located in Sayon Town, Bushrod Island outside Monrovia after they discovered salary has been converted to Liberia dollars instead of the usual payment in United States dollars.

A spokesperson for the group, who asked for anonymity, described the management’s decision as illegal, because it never served them a prior notice on the abrupt change. The workers said if nothing were done by the Ministry of Labor to have the management provide clarity, they would take appropriate action to compel the company to return to status code.

The spokesman said the management’s decision did not only have an effect on junior staffs of the entity, but also senior staffs, who equally rejected the abrupt change, adding that the change violates the Labor Law of Liberia.

The workers maintained that they requested explanations from the management on the matter, but it allegedly turned down their request, something that prompted their rejection of salaries in Liberian dollars. They expressed shock and dismay over the abrupt decision, which they lamented, has embarrassed them, especially some of their colleagues who usually pay club dues in United States dollars.

They also claimed management converted their salary at the rate of 90LD to US$1.00 instead of the prevailing market rate of 95LD to US$1.00. When this writer contacted the Abi Jaoudi management on two separate occasions for clarification on the matter, he was told by a security officer assigned at the front entrance to the company’s premises to leave his contact detail so that management could address the matter subsequently, but despite several follow-ups, the entity is yet to give an official response.

By Emmanuel D. Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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