President George Manneh Weah Monday, November 19, 2018 launched first National Labor Conference to be held in Liberia, with a call for the harmonization of all labor-related laws.
The conference which is intended to seek reform to the labor law of the country is being organized by the Ministry of Labor under the theme: “A Decent Workforce under One Labor Law.”
The Liberian Leader said he was thrilled to be at the ever first National Labor conference, the first to be held in the country since Liberia formed part of the International Labor Conference as member.
He congratulated the leadership of the Ministry of Labor for organizing “this all-important conference when Liberians are enjoying the dividends of peace, and anticipates the prospects and promise of national reconciliation.”
The President used the occasion to call on members of Liberian labor workforce and the people of Liberia to always use peaceful dialogue as a means of addressing their grievances, rather than using protest as the last result in getting their plights on the table.
“A number of reforms have been made in addressing the needs and rights of formal, informal, domestic, and casual workers in the private sector, including the launching of the National Employment Policy, and the centralization of labour unions under the Liberia Labor Congress that will address issues arising within the sector,” President Weah disclosed.
The Liberian leader bemoaned the fact that public sector employees are governed under the Civil Service Agency Standing Order where there is no recognition of the International Organization, participation in any of its functions, or compliance to its conventions.
He said: “This has not only deprived Liberian public servants from exercising some of their basic rights as workers under the Liberian Constitution, as well as ILO conventions to which Liberia is a signatory, but has also led to labour-market rigidity, and confusion in the administration and governance in the Liberian labor sector.”
President Weah is of the hope that the Conference will produce a conducive atmosphere for all stakeholders to hold constructive discussions in all aspects of labour laws, with a view to harmonizing all inconsistencies and provide equal protection of workers in both public and private sectors of the Liberian workforce.
Also serving as keynote speaker, the Regional Country Director of the International Labour Organization in West Africa thanked the President for bringing together stakeholders to address and discuss the process of decent and good labour workforce in Liberia.
Mr. Dennis Zulu said it was an opportunity for the workforce in Liberia to come together to discuss the way forward for fair income, opportunities and freedom for the people to express themselves under the decent workforce law in promoting the labor law that will reflect both the employees and the employers in Liberia.