MONROVIA : The National Union of Hospitality, Aviation, Communications & Energy Workers (NUHACE) is unlawfully defying court order placing injunction on its recognition as a union at Bea Mountain pending a determination of a petition for declaratory judgment filed by the Gold, Diamond Mines, and Energy (GDMEU) workers Union.
Recently, an Investigations carried by this paper showed that NUHACE’s enrollment as a union at Bea Mountain has been entangled with a chain of legal battles. Besides the declaratory judgment suit filed by GDMEU, the United Workers Union of Liberia (UWUL) has also filed another action against NUHACE, Bea Mountain, and the Ministry of Labor.
On February 20, 2023, the petition for declaratory judgment was filed by the Gold, Diamond Mines, and Energy (GDMEU) Workers Union to prevent NUHACE from acting for the workers at Bea Mountain, and that Bea Mountain Mining Company (BMMC) and the Ministry of Labor be restrained and prohibited from recognizing NUHACE as Bea Mountain’s workplace union until a full hearing is conducted and a determination reached.
But in complete disregard of the injunction, NUHACE has been acting contrary and is engaging in unlawful activities to incite confusion and violence in the workplace that it has no recognition to act as a union. In one instance, NUHACE wrote a letter to the Ministry of Labor threatening strike in the workplace, and is demanding that Bea Mountain recognize it and address certain demands made by NUHACE.
The Court has ordered that “there be no recognition or payment of dues or any other funds given to NUHACE by either BMMC or any other union or any entity pending the outcome of the petition for declaratory judgment.”
This means, neither NUHACE nor BMMC nor the Ministry can affect any change until the court can make a determination.
Recognizing the gravity of the Court Order, the Ministry has immediately called on NUHACE to put a halt to its actions.
In a letter written by the Minister of Labor, Mr. Charles Gibson, dated May 18, 2023, he said “this is to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated May 14, 2023, in which you gave the Ministry of labor notice to strike.”
Since then, NUHACE has refused to abide by the mandate from the court, and the Ministry’s instruction, rather wanting to carry out strike action that the company was not abiding by the collective bargaining agreement. The company itself is abiding by the court’s ruling.
Also, in response to NUHACE’s Notice Letter, the Minister of Labor wrote that “such notice has no basis in law and fact and as such, it is intended to cause confusion in the workplace and bring about industrial unrest which is totally unacceptable.”
The Minister also cautioned NUHACE that “it is strongly advised to withdraw the such letter and return to the ongoing discussion at the ministry of labor aimed at resolving pending issues between union/ workers and Management.”
This paper made several calls to the management of BMMC and NUHACE but to no avail.