Monrovia-Feb-16-TNR:The Management of China Union has given in to pressure from workers of the company thus forcing it to sign a Memorandum of Undermining with the workers.

Recently, workers of the company staged a protest lying before the management series of dissatisfaction that needed to be addressed. After the standoff between them, the Management of China Union and the United Workers Union of Liberia (UWUL) mutually agreed to resolve the issues regarding employees’ benefits.

Some of the things they agreed on include education allowances which management is going to pay US$600 to each employee as school fees of two years within 48 hours, and the rest of the school fees shall be placed on hold until the resumption of the project in Bong Mines.

They also agreed that management provides a 50KG bag to each employee. “The people in Bong Mines could receive it within 72 hours and people in Monrovia could receive it within 5 days because the Chinese who take charge of procurement will travel back to Liberia on Feb 17, 2024,” the agreement said.

Additionally, it indicated that since then and before the resumption of the project, each employee will be able to receive 50Kg rice each quarter, and will receive 100Kg after the resumption successfully completed until all outstanding obligations of rice have been completed.

The workers also demanded Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), issues relating to media care and safe drinking water as some of the demands they made the company entered into.

They made the management to agree on completing the provision of PPE to all the rest of the employees when the vessel arrives in Liberia (possibly at the end of April, 2024) and that the management will take the responsibility of paying or going through reimbursement procedure when any employee get wounded, sick or injured including their dependents not more than three children and a wife.

On the issue of safe drinking water, the management will provide safe plastic drinking water to each employee with sufficient quantity and also provide a decent water bottle to each employee according to the agreement.

At the same time, the Chairman of the Bong County Legislative Caucus, Senator Prince Kermue Moye has accused the China Union of conniving with former Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah on the social development fund to stall development in the county.

Addressing a major news conference Thursday, February 15, 2024, the Caucus Chair told legislative reporters at his Capitol Building Office that in recent years, the China Union has taken the backdoor in negotiating the county’s developmental drive at the detriment of the citizens.

He stressed that the concession is a law and whatever negotiation the major concession company had made with the Ministry of Finance and Development-Planning under the leadership of former Minister Tweah to cut down its social contribution to Bong County will be revisited and addressed adequately under his leadership as chair.

Also commenting on the MNG Gold Liberia-a Turkish mining company operating in Bong County, Senator Moye said the Caucus has been very concerned about the slow pace of the company’s operations.

“And over the period, I personally have raised issues about revisiting the concession agreement that they inherited the previous company and once that is done, the concession will be brought to present day reality and issues that are in the old concession agreement, some will be deleted and amendment will be made so that the Social Corporate Responsibility aspect be taken seriously,” the arrowhead of the Bong County Legislative Caucus asserted.

At the same time, the Bong County Senator disclosed that a representation of the constituency was illegally removed from the Board of ArcelorMittal Liberia in recent times; something he said violated the exclusive representative rights of the county.

He emphasized for the fact the company’s railroad passes through the county and one of its operating sites is also in the county, the removal of the county from the board should be revisited, stressing his leadership will ensure that is achieved.

But when asked about some legislators serving as public relation officers for those very concessionaires thus stalling development under the administration of the immediate past Caucus Chair, Representative Maima Briggs Mensah, Senator Moye denied hearing or knowing about such acts being carried out.

In furtherance, Senator Prince Moye averred that over the last two years, the county has been engulfed with legal and audit matters as a result, the development fund has not been utilized during the period stated.

The Bong County Legislative Caucus Chair stressed that currently, the county is stagnated in terms of development programs due to a moratorium placed on the county’s account amid the many issues.

He emphasized that going forward; the caucus leadership will take a decisive step to lift the suspension placed on the account for the county to proceed with development.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Chair of the Bong County Legislative Caucus thanked his colleagues for electing him for the next two years and promised to let go of his personal ego, ensuring reconciliation, unity and peace reign for the growth and development of the county.

Among other things, he also lauded the former Chair Representative Maima Briggs Mensah of Electoral District #6 in Bong County for her able leadership role over the years.

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