By: Nathaniel Success Topkah (Nimba Correspondent)
Aggrieved redundant workers of Liberia’s leading ore mining company Arcelor Mittal-Liberia have once again embarked on demanding their wages from the company.
On Tuesday, August 18, 2020, over 50 men assembled at Sanniquellie and barricaded the rails in an effort to attract the government and the company’s attention.
As part of their protest, they obstructed the movement of Arcelor Mittal-Liberia locomotive by placing a casket on the track with an inscription “Arcelor Mittal Pay our money or government kill us and protect Arcelor Mittal.”
After minutes of being on the train tracks, officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) loaded in Arcelor Mittal-Liberia Pick-up (Y-21&Y-18) arrived at the scene of the protest, and begun removing the objects placed on the rail.
Despite the Police actions, the aggrieved protestors remained peaceful and never retaliated to the officers.
“We’ll be here until Arcelor Mittal can pay our money. We’re going to stay here for the next week… we’ll sleep on this track.” Kingsley Nyandibo, head of the aggrieved protestors noted.
Nyandibo further that the protestors will continue being peaceful because their move is to get their just benefit from the mining company and not to enter into brutality.
With no negotiations yet between the illegally dismissed workers, government, and Arcelor Mittal, the group later disembarked and are said to continue their protest in Sanniquellie Wednesday.
According to Mr. Nyandibo, there are over two thousand Liberians that were downsized by Arcelor Mittal-Liberia and have not been able to receive their wages from the company over the last few years, despite series of engagements and concerns from them.
“We’ll only settle down to negotiate with Mittal based on payments… and they’ll pay us based on the labor laws of Liberia.” Mr. Nyandibo lamented.
The redundant workers include employees from Buchanan, Sanniquellie, and the Yekepa, the company’s headquarters.