Barely weeks following their induction as heads of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia, the Management of Company has dismissed two officials of the Union. Those dismissed include the Chairman of the Union, Mr. Able Fallah Ngigie and Grievance Chairman, Edwin Fallah.
Mr. Ngigie dismissal letter under the signature of the Human Resources Manager, Marion N. Wreh dated October 26, 2018 copy of which is in the possession of this Paper revealed that his service was terminated by the Firestone management for his continuous absence without providing good cause or explanation for a period exceeding ten (10) consecutive days in one month keeping with section 14.3 (d) (vii) of the decent work act of 2015.
In the letter, the Firestone Management has asked Mr. Ngigie to turn over to his immediate Supervisor all of the Company’s properties that are in his possession and give up the occupancy of the housing unit if any is assigned to him within 15 days as of the date the dismissal letter was issued him.
The Management in the document further advised the dismissed Chairman to contact the Human Resources Department to sign for and receive any and all unpaid salary/wages and other benefits that may have accrued in his favor to date.
It warned that failure on his part to turn over his assigned housing unit will lead to the forfeiture of his separation benefits. This Paper has reliably learned that a dismissal letter with the same content was issued the Grievance Chairman Edwin Fallah.
But the dismissed Chairman of the Union speaking to this our reporter early Tuesday morning said prior to their dismissal the management of the Company has order them to return to work something he said violates the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Mr. Ngigie disclosed that it is written in the CBA that six officials of the Union should be in their various Union offices every working day to address grievances arising from their respective workplaces instead contrary to claims made by the Firestone Management.
“Brother Moses we get this Company in Liberia that the Liberian people call Firestone-Liberia, the Company is not respecting the Liberian people; the Company is not respecting the Government of Liberia” he added.
Meanwhile, all effort made by officials of the Agricultural Alias Industrial Workers Union of Liberia (AAIWUL) for the management to reconsider her decision did not materialize as it has vowed to stand by the decision.
With this situation, workers at the plantation have threatened to begin a strike action in the Plantation until management reinstates their two dismissed officials.
The workers speaking through some of their workplace Representatives said this is the time to make the management of the Company to know that the time for slavery is over.
Mr. Nathaniel Binda, one of the Work Place Representatives said they were born in Firestone and they saw the Company ill-treating their people and there were dilapidated housing units in Firestone something he noted that the Company is still insisting the people continue living in the same condition.
“We want to inform our workers that today if rebel just enter your Country and captured your President, the Country has begun a state of emergency, a state of emergency is where no control everybody has their own way,” he said.
Mr. Binda stated that what happened to Abel Ngigie can happen to any other person as such they will not go to work until they receive communication from their dismissed letter that they have been reinstated by the Company.
Another workplace Representative Luogan Polley said if the Company wants to park off and leave Liberia, let it be, but they are not going to condone any act that will be compared to the past where people were in slavery.
Mr. Polley who said they are able to manage the farm called on his fellow workers to be ready to take the mantle of leadership.