–for Demanding Salaries
Officers of the Liberia National Police Monday, October 12, 2020 reportedly ‘crackdown’ on aggrieved workers of the Judiciary Branch of Government who have gathered to demand their one year salaries and other just benefits.
Two employees (male and female) are currently under intensive care at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center as a result of force allegedly carried out by the police aim at getting the protesters out of the grounds of the Temple of Justice where the opening of the Supreme Court for its October Term was taking place.
The two employees (Brandy and Archie Ponpon) spent nearly an hour on the down before they were taken to the hospital to be attended.
According to our judicial correspondent, that was after their colleagues blocked the vehicle of Finance Minster Samuel Tweah from leaving the court yard.
Minister Tweah was not attending the Supreme Court opening, but was urgently called by the priest of the high court and that of the Minister of Justice Frank Musa Dean to witness the Monday’s scene and address the workers’ plight.
Minister Tweah vowed to address the workers’ plight as of today, October 13, 2020 by sending technicians who will explain the formula used in harmonizing their salaries thus committing to issue a bulk check which is also known as restoration to cover three months period plus their October pay as of today.
He clarified that the Chief Justice has not eaten their salaries as claimed by the employees on grounds that central government is indebted to the Chief Justice.
According to him, under the standardization and harmonization, employees of the judiciary are now paying taxes as compared to before; something which is believed to further give rise to the salary delay.
Minister Tweh was further witnessed communicating with an unknown source after being prevented from existing the court yard until their colleagues are taken to the hospital to be attended to.
In a minute, two ambulances arrived on the scene and took the helpless individuals to the JFK hospital for medical care even though the protesters demanded that they be taken to some other hospitals rather than the JFK.
Though it is not established as to who authorized the police to use force against peaceful workers, protesters and others believe that the Chief Justice is behind as he had threatened to use force against the aggrieved workers during previous meetings with them.
Accordingly; Monday’s incident brought normal activities at the Temple of Justice to a standstill as a result of aggrieved employees strike action demanding resolution to their 12 months salaries and other benefits.
The Supreme Court opening which was done via zoom to prevent such embarrassment was also disrupted by protesting judicial workers carrying placards with different inscriptions as well as beating dumb among other things.
Prior to the workers assembly, officers of the joint security was already deployed at the grounds of the Temple Of Justice to resist any protestation by those aggrieved staffs since those workers last week Friday disrupted the Judicial Institute closing ceremony.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Liberia National Police, Moses Carter denied all allegations. According to Carter, the police officers didn’t use any force on the protesters as claimed by them.