EDITORIAL: AcelorMittal: Investor Or Exploiter?

Politically Renowned by its known trademark of the most infamous investment package of 103 white Mitsubishi pickups distributed, perhaps as share, to all lawmakers during the most three times corrupt administration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf than the interim leadership of the late Charles G. Bryant, has deceitfully presented itself not as a reliable joint-partner in progress, but an exploiter and not investor.

Upon inheriting one of Liberia’s well structurally laid out infrastructure segments once established and operated by-Liberia America Mining Company(LAMCO) (despite the agreement reached as part of the concession deal), AcelorMittal is paying back the good spirit of the  concession agreement signed with bad taste with all the well and beautifully  constructed buildings and facilities,  almost all the various are in ruin. 

Despite the rejection of the white pickups by just few lawmakers, AcelorMittal, unconcerned about making the best out of its investment climate and opportunity by caring for, and improving the livelihood of the employees; it is only particular about exporting its iron ore while the workers’ dignities are reduced and confronted with psychological crunch by not residing in the many houses left behind by LAMCO, rather most of them find themselves living in tents and re-worked containers.   There are however few of the workers that reside in some the houses.

A recent visit to the concession areas of late presented so many disappointments, a perfect display of mentality, reflective not as an investor, but an exploiter to the core, which is not in the interest of the most cordial relationship between management and workers. Out of fifty perons spoken to about AML,  less than  ten spoke well about its investment.

The complaints about the concession areas of AcelorMittal are heart breaking with employees not realizing their full human objectives; and the company advances its influence of swelling its political ground; it has now moved to another level; instead of giving out dozens of white pickups to lawmakers with an unexplained reason, has played host to Senate Pro Tempore with the visit to the company’s facilities, where he was acquainted with the company’s operations attached to a guided tour; raises more questions than answers.

Today, the concession agreement is chronically affecting Liberia and Liberians as the once investor now turned exploiter, is on a non-stop operation of getting the ore out of the country and conducting the affairs of the company; which in specific term, have degraded its workers off as the world’s giant in the steel business. What a shame! 

On a weekly basis, the company exports over 52,000 tons or Ore to Buchanan port for onward shipment to Europe and other parts of the world.

In spite of the company’s known tradition of sending out alleged shady gifts with strategic attached strings that must be honored by the company’s premeditated political body, there is an urgent need to revisit the concession agreement so that the concession community can represent a working and dwelling place of people in the high technologies-driven-21st century and not surviving in the Paleolithic (primitive) days of cave men, women, Neandethal and Troglodytes.

Remember, if we are to go by   your own vision, then, you are not  really up to it.  Part of your vision state that safety comes first. “In doing so, our top priority is safety with a goal of being the world’s safest steel and mining company.

“As a company, we are committed to our brand promise of ‘transforming tomorrow’. Guiding us in this are our values of sustainability, quality  and leadership, each built on a foundation of health and safety. Our brand attitude is boldness – an attribute that is reflected throughout ArcelorMittal Liberia’s history and current operations.”

If indeed you  are to go by transforming  tomorrow, then, it is the opposite of that transformation. One may say that you are transforming from best to bad, looking at the current environment you are operating in.

Such a world class company like Arcelor Mittal that is listed under New York stock exchange,  (under the trading symbol MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT), Barcelona (MTS), Bilbao (MTS), Madrid (MTS) and Valencia (MTS),  needs to do  better than this.

 This company must begin to add prestigious value to the dignity of labor and respect and uphold the sacred tenets of human and labor rights for the employees whose works and commitment are expressed through their outputs, must not also go unnoticed with encouragement by the management of AcelorMittal…and now is the time to make that change that will shatter the wall of bondage.  Remember, if it is true that misery likes company, then obviously, we’re keeping you on the radar.

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