By: Reuben Bier
MONROVIA-Several Contractors of the Port of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County have staged a protest in demand of employment.
Article 17 of the Constitution of Liberia mandates all persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions, and other organizations.
The protesters were singing songs and holding placards with different inscriptions some of them which read, “We say no to high table employment,” we are tired of mockery in our government; we deserve employment and other social benefits” among others.
The protesters who were in huge numbers both men and women also set roadblocks at the mean entrance of the Port Facilities that halted normal operations of the Port for hours.
The Port of Buchanan is the second largest Port in the Republic of Liberia that generates huge revenue for the government of Liberia and the People.
Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved contractors, James Neor attributed their protest actions to the alleged refusal of the management of the port to employ them after serving as contractors for several years.
“Some of us have worked as contractors for four, five, six, and up to seven years and up to now, no employment, but some of the guys who were recently recommended by some of our leaders in the County are the ones gaining 25 years employment opportunities, “ Neor asserted.”
James in his statement said the management assured of awarding them employment on several occasions to no avail something he said they can no longer withstand.
However, the Coordinator of the Port Martin Zayzay before the arrival of the Port Director at the protest Grand said the protest actions from the contractors came as a surprise stating, they were not notified prior to their protest.
For his part, the Buchanan Port Director Siokin Civicus Barsi-Giah appealed to the aggrieved contractors to exercise patients and promised to respond to their concerns the soonest as possible time.
Meanwhile, they threatened to continue their protest actions until their plans to be employed are fruitful despite the intervention by the Port Manager and authorities of the County.