Conditions of Health Sector Unfavorable -Says Secretary General of Health Workers Union

The Secretary General of the Health Workers Union of Liberia, George Poe Williams has expressed deep concerns surrounding the unfortunate circumstances and developments within the public sector of the country, especially the health sector and called on the government to urgently give attention to it if it wants to move the country forward.

Williams made the statement at the start of a two-day workshop sponsored by the MEMUR-SEN TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION OF the Republic of Turkey which brought together several members of the Health Workers Union of Liberia under the theme, “Bargaining power, social dialogue and the plight of the public service worker. He further said that these challenges internally in the past include huge trade union knowledge gap, poor leadership skills, lack of democratic recruitment and finances for public sector unions, immense fear, and the lack of solidarity.

According to him, with respect to the external factors in the past, there was some misunderstanding of trade unions by Government officials who were also unfriendly and interference into trade unions affairs, dual labor laws regimes and a weak judiciary system. He also mentioned that the current factors include efforts to mitigate the knowledge gap (more training and practice), mixed level of membership commitment, huge network and solidarity. Williams said that further challenges can be addressed by building more quality memberships, establish better leaderships through best recruitment and due payment practice and to strengthen networks and solidarity among others.

Earlier, the Deputy Secretary General for Operations at the Liberia Labor Congress, Madam Ophelia N. Carpenter told the gathering that the main objective of the workshop was to furnish trade unions in Liberia of the plight concerning the public sector workers who don’t have bargaining power.

“The International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 87 and 98 should be respected and implemented to the fullest. We have come a long way in engaging Government and Employers and the ILO is assisting the process of the Public sector workers to enjoy these Conventions” Madam. Carpenter said.

She pointed out that all trade unions in Liberia need this important workshop when it comes to where they came from, where they are, where they want to go now on the public sector issue adding that the workshop was organized to disseminate information to trade unions.

She however disclosed that there were many unfolding developing activities the ILO was conducting for the Health workers, Teachers and Public Servants to gain bargaining power.

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