Kruah vows to Protect Liberia’s interest -Says, “Zero Tolerance to Labor laws violation”

MONROVIA: Amidst the insinuation that Liberians have become “spectators in their own economy”, the newly appointed Minister of Labor, Cllr: Cooper W. Kruah Sr,  has vowed to place high premium on the welfare of Liberians in the labor economy as  a central policy in line with ensuring that they become major stakeholders in the employment market and agent of change to buttress the improvement and development of the national economy just as he said that there will be zero tolerance to any thought  of compromising the existing labor laws of the country.

Minister Kruah made the statement on Wednesday, March 27, 2023 at the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism(MICAT) were he provided the opportunities for the audience to have an insight of what the ministry was doing with respect to keying in the ARREST AGENDA  of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

“Under our laws, all Liberian citizens shall have equal opportunity for work and employment regardless of sex, creed, religion, ethnic background, place of origin or political affiliations, and all shall be entitled to equal pay for equal work. As Minister of Labor, I intend to, ensure that”, the Minister said.

Minister Kruah said that in relations to serving the interest of the Liberian people he will be true  “to our word, during our senate confirmation and our takeover remarks, at the ministry of labor, I shall ensure total adherence to every aspect of the labor laws and regulations, including the decent work act of 2015”.

“I want to emphasize the full enforcement of the labor laws and the provisions of regulations #17 which states “any informal sector employer, who employs an alien who is not in possession of a work permit and is not exempted, shall pay a fine of USD500 for the employer and USD250 for the unlawful employee” and section B of the same regulation, which also states, “Any formal sector employers who employs an alien who is not in possession of a work permit  and is not exempted, shall pay a fine of US$ 2,000 for the employer and US$1,000 for the unlawful  employee”

Minister Kruah speaking further on his policy to be “Liberian focused” stated emphatically that while it is his desire to encourage the involvement of “our foreign business and investment friends in our labor economy, and allow them to explore commercial and trading opportunities, we wish to quickly state that the full compliance of our laws will not be compromised and that the safety, welfare and prosperity of our citizens will be our optimum priority”.

“Ours shall be a Liberians first agenda, wherein qualified Liberian citizens will be afforded preferential opportunities, as they compete on the job market, with our foreign compatriots. We shall ensure regular routine and non-technical job placements and vacancies at major companies and other investment entities in our country, will be occupied by qualified Liberians or may  only be occupied by foreign workers, if and if there are no competent and qualified Liberians available, after advertisement and by authority of the minister of labor”, Minister Kruah stated.

Earlier during his presentation at the Program intended to have some basic information on what the Ministry of Labor has been doing especially so in promoting the national agenda of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Kruah spent some time on explaining what has been going on in the region especially so in the wake of how the media has been riddled with issues surrounding developments at the Bea Mountain Mining Company in Kinjor, Grand cape mount county where there were reported disturbances and strike actions in some areas which turned violent, wounding citizens and in some cases citizens losing their lives.

“A ministerial committee comprising of the Minister of Justice, Internal Affairs and labor on Sunday march 17, 2024, “made an official visit at the troubled mining concession area and met with protesting residents, citizens , other stakeholders as well as the Bea mountain management and employees to amicably resolve the issues being raised by the protestors against the company relating to labor related practices affected our decent work act of 2015”, Cooper Kruah said.

He asserted that after that engagement visitation, it was agreed that the Ministry of Labor, within in one week, should constitute a team to proceed to the Bea mountain concession area to handle, address, and resolve all the labor issues raised by the protesters and workers against the company.

“Consequently, on Thursday, March 21st, 2024, a 12 man team headed by the Deputy minister for Manpower and Human Resource hon. Steven S. Kollie and comprising several directors of various relevant departments of the ministry, including the directors of regional labor affairs, trade unions/ social dialogue, labor standards, industrialized safety and workman ‘s compensation, aliens registration, and the inspector general, etc along with labor liaison enrolment officers from our project partners CETIS/ZIP left Monrovia for the Bea mountain concession area for a week long working mission.

“Their mandate included verifying all reports of labor violations, including but not limited to underpayment of employees below minimum wage, hazardous and unsafe work conditions of employees, workers in critical work places without insurance, foreign employees working without valid work permits, employees working without contracts or benefits, among several others.

“Ladies and gentlemen, as you may know, the Ministry of Labor has two prime responsibilities under the executive laws. Collecting revenue from alien work permit fees and regulating the labor sector of Liberia. Even though there are two main legislations, which regulates the terms and conditions of employment in Liberia, namely, the decent work act of 2015 and the civil service agency standing order.  The decent work act provides for the basic conditions of employment with a view of improving the status of employees in Liberia”, the labor Minister said.

He further stated that whatever  precision that was followed under Liberia’s laws, “all Liberian citizens shall have equal opportunity for work and employment regardless of sex, creed, religion, ethnic background, place of origin or political affiliations, and all shall be entitled to equal pay for equal work. As Minister of Labor, I intend to ensure that”, Kruah said.

“Additionally, holding true to our word, during our senate confirmation and our takeover remarks, at the ministry of labor, I shall ensure total adherence to every aspect of the labor laws and regulations, including the decent work act of 2015.

“ I want to emphasize the full enforcement of the labor laws and the provisions of regulations #17 which states “any informal sector employer, who employs an alien who is not in possession of a work permit and is not exempted, shall pay a fine of USD500 for the employer and USD250 for the unlawful employee” and section B of the same regulation, which also states, “Any formal sector employers who employs an alien who is not in possession of a work permit  and is not exempted, shall pay a fine of US$ 2,000 for the employer and US$1,000 for the unlawful  employee.

“I must again emphasize, that why we wish to encourage the involvement of our foreign business and investment friends in our labor economy, and allow them to explore commercial and trading opportunities, we wish to quickly state that the full compliance of our laws will not be compromised and that the safety, welfare and prosperity of our citizens will be our optimum priority”, he concluded.

Foreign workers, if and if there are no competent and qualified Liberians available, after advertisement and by authority of the minister of labor.

Be assure, however, that your rights and investment portfolios shall be fully respected and protected equally under our laws.

5 Comments
  1. Garsuah Gborvlehn says

    Kruah vows to Protect Liberia’s interest -Says, “Zero Tolerance to Labor laws violation”, but after the nation called for the removal of the General Manager of the company Debar W. Allen as the consequence of Debar W. Allen presided over the massacre of poor working civilians, Debar W. Allen have boasted that the workers got what they deserve, and he will remain general manger, nothing has happened regarding prosecution and dismissal of Debar W. Allen?

    Kruah, it is good you were shoveled out of the Ministry of Justice, and dump you at that dumping ground.

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  4. Jake Doe says

    Cooper Kruah, are you serious about your zero tolerance of labor laws violations, or this is mere lip service on your part, as has been proven regarding the impunity of those police officers and the General Manager Debar W. Allen who carried out the massacre of poor workers in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount County?

    We say this based on the fact that while the Ministry of Labor should promote the welfare of workers, job seekers, wage earners, and retirees throughout Liberia, by improving the working conditions, advancing opportunities for profitable employment, protecting retirement and health care benefits, matching workers to employers, strengthening free collective bargaining, you and the management of Bea Mountain throughout the country have connived to brainwash the people by treating them as subhumans and dehumanizing them as though Liberia is an apartheid state in which the management of Bea Mountain has a different and separate postmodern health center, while the poor ordinary workers and the local community have a dilapidated premodern health center, because after killing them, you would build some handpump.

    Look, Kruah, we did not dump you at the ministry to perpetuate the perpetrations bein carried out by Debar W. Allen and you and the police and Bea Mountain. We dumped you at the ministry to have you demonstrate gratefulness by administering a variety of national labor laws to guarantee workers rights to fair, safe, and healthy working conditions, including minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, freedom from employment discrimination, unemployment insurance, and other income support.

    IN SHORT, YOU WERE NOT DUMPED TO BE AN ACCOMPLICE OF PERPETRATORS OF BRAINWASHING WORKERS AND THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AMID SUCH SLAVERY AND APARTHEID MANAGEMENT POLICIES AS THOSE OF BEA MOUNTAIN SLAUGHTERING WORKERS.

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