Providence Farm Risks Closure As Margibi Labor Commissioner Summons Management
It has been revealed to The Monrovia Times Newspaper that Providence Farm (Ben Garnett Rubber Plantation) located in Gibi District Margibi County risks closure if its Management headed by Mr. Benjamin Garnett refuses to appear before The Labor Commissioner of Margibi County, Anthony Moses to give cause why it does not want to pay her employees and issue them safety materials.
The Labor Commissioner of Margibi County, Anthony Moses in his revelation told newsmen on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, that his office has issued the manager of the farm, Benjamin Garnett a writ of summons and is expected to appear on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at 11:0’clock a.m.
“Tomorrow if he does not appear to show reasons why he owed the workers and do not want to pay them or he doesn’t issue them safety materials and other things, there are other measures and he risks closure of the farm because just imaging people work seven months, eight months no pay” he added.
Commissioner Moses disclosed that Mr. Garnett was summoned on the allegation of bad labor practices his entity continues to carry out against its employees.
According to him, many of the employees accused the Providence Farm’s management of allegedly refusing to pay their wages for the several months they have worked for.
He indicated that officials of the Workers Union on the Farm informed him that some of the workers have worked for six to seven months and they have not been paid while those that were redundant have not gotten their redundancy benefits.
Mr. Moses said the Union also told him that Mr. Garnett has on several occasions gone to the General Agricultural Alias Workers Union (GAAWU) and made lots of promises to officials of the Organization, but he has not fulfilled them.
He intoned that his office has applied all effort in negotiating with Mr. Garnett, but said efforts have not yielded any positive result, as such; he has to be summoned.
The Labor Commissioner stated that past records have it that Mr. Garnett was on several occasions invited and warned by past Commissioners on the bad labor practices but refused to adhere to their warning.
He explained that there have been lots of strike actions staged by employees of the Company making emphasis on the recent one that saw Mr. Garnett being held hostage by the workers.
He said the Farm is always in the news on allegations of refusing to pay his workers or live up to his social responsibilities such as issuing rice and catering to the educational needs of employees’ children.
Also, Mr. Moses said in subsequent days, the employees planned to stage a protest but his office talked to the aggrieved employees to put a hold to their action on grounds that he does not want strike action every time and that he is engaging the management of the farm.
Mr. Moses however, called on Liberian employers to treat their fellow Liberians who are in their employed with care, something he said will compare foreign investors to do the same.
Mr. Benjamin Garnett commonly known as Ben Garnett is a Liberian and the CEO of the controversial plantation, he could not be reached for comment.