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PSI Liberian affiliates continue to protest against attacks on trade union rights

19 August 2016
Liberia attack on workers' rights
PSI continues to support its Liberian affiliates in their protest against the Liberian Government’s attacks on workers and trade union rights. In a new statement, seven public sector unions are reiterating their demands.

Statement: A follow up protest against the attacks on workers and union rights by the Liberian Government

On June 3, 2016, we the Liberian affiliates of Public Services International (PSI) in collaboration with other workers and human rights organisations gathered at this Ministry of labour, Republic of Liberia, protesting against the Anti-Union behaviour of the Liberian Government, more specifically, the dismissals of Union Leaders, George Poe Williams and Joseph S. Tamba of NAHWAL and Mellish P. G. Weh and Jayce W. Garniah of RIAWU, the refusal to grant NAHWAL its Union certificate of recognition and the suspension of the collective Bargaining agreement of the RIA Workers’ Union.

Two months have passed without any redress to our concerns, so we have come today to remind you of our petition and reiterate that:

Contrary to the fact that the government has ratified the ILO convention C87 and C98, it refuses to put these international regulations into practice and has made it Illegal for public servants to get organized and form or join a union who represents their rights.

Although the constitution guarantees the right to association and specifically refers to trade unions, the government had instituted two different labour laws, the Decent Work Act for private and the Civil Service Standing order for the public sector, denying public servants the international and constitutional right to organize themselves into unions.

Therefore, we call for the amendment of the Civil Service Standing Order, the inclusion of civil servants and Maritime workers in the Decent Work Act and for the reinstatement of the dismissed union leaders. All workers, including those working for the government, should have the right to organize and no union member should face dismissal. Be threatened or displaced, just for defending workers’ rights and fighting for better working conditions.

Therefore, we demand and will continuously fight for:

  • Implementation of ILO conventions 87 and 98
  • The inclusion of Civil servants and maritime workers in the decent work act.
  • The reinstatement of union leaders of NAHWAL and RIAWU and all other union and workers’ leaders who have been illegally dismissed by the Liberian government.
  • Union certification for NAHWAL and other public servants’ associations.
  • Restoration of the RIAWU collective Bargaining agreement.

The statement was issued by the following unions: National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NAHWAL), National Private Sector Health Workers Union of Liberia (NPSHWUL), National Trade union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NTUPAW), Liberian Union of Non Academic staff and Teachers (LUNAST), Roberts international Airport Workers’ Union (RIAWU), National Teachers’ Association of Liberia (NTAL), Civil Society and Trade Union Institutions of Liberia (CTIL), Concern Universities Student of MOE Local Scholarship Program (CUSMOELPS) and Monrovia Consolidated School System Teachers’ Association (MCSSTA).

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