Mass Action Hangs Over APM Terminals -As VEx Supports Striking Workers

A Liberian Advocate and Chief Convener Voices from Exile (VEx), Martin K. N. Kollie, Mr. Martin K. N. Kollie says his institution stands in firm solidarity with protesting Liberian workers at National Port Authority (NPA) and frowns on APM Terminals for its continuous Labor Abuse being meted against the Liberian workforce of the company.

A press release of May 10, 2021 quoted Mr. Kollie as threatening mass action against the APM Terminals. He stressed that if these 24 suspended workers are not reinstated as soon as possible, VEx will be compelled to mobilize thousands of students, youths, teachers, marketers, and ordinary Liberians through a nonstop protest until such reinstatement is done.

“For more than a week now, hundreds of aggrieved workers at the National Port Authority (NPA) have been protesting against bad labor practices. The chief culprit of these anti-labor precedents is APM Terminals,“ Kollie said in a release. .

The release indicated that Voices from Exile (VEx), a pro-democracy and pro-rights advocacy platform, remains very concerned about this ongoing impasse at NPA and therefore added that VEx stands in firm solidarity with Liberian workers, calling on APM Terminals to refrain from continuous labor abuse.

“We are standing with these workers’ unions, including the  Dock Workers Union of Liberia, the National Customs Brokers Association of Liberia and the Port Truckers Association of Liberia, and pointed out that VEx is in full support of their demands/plights which are legitimate and reasonable to be met:

“The National Port Authority (NPA) and APM Terminals MUST be very sensitive, proactive, and responsive to the plights of these aggrieved workers. The concerns that have been raised are genuine and they deserve timely redress,” the Vex release demanded.

VEx is further demanding an immediate reinstatement of 24 suspended employees by APM Terminals. “The rights of those suspended dock workers were flagrantly violated and we call for an end to illegal suspension and arbitrary dismissal throughout Liberia. The Rule of Law must prevail at all times,” he said in the release.

“APM Terminals is not above the Labor Law of Liberia and we will not allow any concession company, not even APM Terminals, to exploit/abuse our people’s labor. Predatory concessionaires MUST be brought in check because labor rights are fundamental to economic growth and development. We are calling for a review of APM Terminals’ concession,” he further said.

Mr. Kollie’s group is calling on President George M. Weah to use his executive power in order to reasonably relapse taxes on imports. GOL must find remedy (ies) to prevailing complications at the National Port Authority.

The compounded difficulties facing Liberian businesses and entrepreneurs are disturbing. We call on GOL to entirely enforce the 1956 Labor Law of Liberia, the 1973 Liberianization Policy, and the 2010 Decent Work Bill,” Mr. Kollie further demanded in the release.

He said in the coming days, VEx will formally dispatch a communication to the International Labor Organization (ILO) pertinent to bad labor practices throughout Liberia, the release concluded.

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