Liberia: Workers at Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant allege unfair labour practices including unpaid overtime & unsafe working conditions; company denies allegations
Author: Front Page Africa (Liberia), Published on: 26 February 2019
“Liberia: Alleged Bad Labor Practice at Mount Coffee Hydro”, 8 February 2019, Front Page Africa
Residents of Harrisburg and its environs in the employ of a joint venture company have expressed concern over the consistent bad labor practice of their employer. The joint venture company which comprises of Pan African Engineering Group, Sigma Group Inc., and Mamba Point Hotel collectively known as PSM-JV, are contractors of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant. The workers alleged that some of the bad labor practices include inhumane treatment by their foreign bosses and arbitrary cutting of their salaries without their consent.
On April 8, 2015, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) signed a contract with joint venture for construction, housing keeping, catering amongst others. PSM-JV then hired locals, who are now alleging that they are working in “hell” due to “ill-treatment by high ranking officials of the company”. “When we are at work we drink water from the river because they don’t allow us to drink the same water they drink, we can drink the same water they use to wash their cars, I mean water from the river,” one of the employees explains. The employees disclosed that some of them signed a contract for US$175 per month, but said amount is only reflected on document, but they are paid either US$125 or US$130.
Sanjeev Singh, a supervisor of the company, told reporters that the government is aware of all of all of its policies and actions…“Go and publish anything you want in fact nothing will come out of this because we got government backing and they are aware of all what is going on at Mount Coffee,” he told journalists. “My brother, do you know how much we pay to government monthly or annually to keep running our company operations? We pay the government from our pockets all the taxes so we are not afraid of anything employees say about us.”