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PSI affiliates in Liberia are also protesting against the government’s refusal to grant the unions NAHWAL and RIAWU their rights. Although the Liberian constitution guarantees the right to association and specifically refers to trade unions, the government has instituted two different laws for the private and public sectors, namely the Decent Work Act and the Civil Service Standing Order. Even though it has ratified ILO Conventions 87 and 98, the government has made it illegal for public servants to organise or to join a union that represents their rights.
The unions are now calling for the amendment of the Civil Service Standing Order and for civil servants and maritime workers to be included in the Decent Work Act, and that the dismissed union leaders be reinstated.
Unionists demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Labor in Monrovia carrying placards and calling on the Liberian government to respect and protect workers’ rights across the country.
George Poe Williams of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NAHWAL) said the protest is intended to drawn the attention of the government on the prevailing labor issues.
Poe stated: “Contrary to the fact that the government has ratified the ILO conventions C87 and C98, it refuses to put these international regulations into practice and has made it illegal for public servants to get organized and form or join a union who represents their rights”.