The Management of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) says it is currently rationalizing its workforce and undergoing a redundancy exercise due to various economic challenges.
In a press statement issued Thursday, 23 November, the Company confirms a news story published in the 16 November Edition of The NewDawn Captioned: “Ministry of Labor Halts Redundancy at Sime Darby”.
The statement discloses that Management’s decision is to ensure the continuity of its business in Liberia, indicating that the exercise is currently being implemented in stages in full consultation with the affected workers, the workers’ union and the Ministry of Labor.
The statement adds that SDPL Management is in talks with the Ministry of Labor, community representatives and the affected employees, noting that effort has been made to ensure that the process follows the laws and regulations of Liberia which includes the Liberia Decent Work Act of 2015 and Collective Bargaining Agreement.
In recent years, the statement notes, SDPL’s business has faced several constraints that have prevented the business from growing as planned, noting that the main factors have been land issues and also the Ebola outbreak.
SDPL says regardless of these issues, it has continued to employ workers greatly beyond its requirement for current operations, adding that in order for the company to move forward, it needs to rationalize the current workforce.
The SDPL statement notes that while these processes are ongoing, it has constructed a new state of the art mill in Bomi County with new jobs and opportunities created as a result of these new developments.
The Company says it is in Liberia for the long run and will work within the confines of best business practices to ensure its sustainable presence in the country.
It says it has planted over 10,000 hectares of oil palm and more than 100 hectares of rubber, providing the highest-paid jobs in the agricultural sector to around 2,800 Liberians.
Meanwhile, as part of its commitment to improving living conditions of the surrounding communities, the Management of Sime Darby says it has been providing free access to education, health services, water and sanitation and other community services to over 30,000 local residents.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley