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Local Official Urges Calm Among 950 AFCON Workers
By Wellington G. Patrick, LINA Nimba County Correspondent
SANNIQUELLIE, March 21 (LINA) - Assistant Nimba County Superintendent D. Dorr Cooper has appealed for calm and assured about 950 redundant contractors at AFCON that local authorities will ensure that justice prevails in their case.
AFCON is an Indian construction company sub-contracted by Arcelor Mittal Liberia to erect several processing plants to purify ores mined from Mount Tokadeh.
On Wednesday, March 19, the redundant workers converged on the principal streets of Sanniquellie and later blocked the Yekepa-Buchanan Railway protesting in demand of nearly five months of salary arrears owed them by AFCON.
The spokesman of the aggrieved workers, Jerry Tamba, told the Liberia News Agency that in addition to their salaries, AFCON is due to pay each worker US$10 monthly as house rent in keeping with their contractual agreement.
Supt. Cooper said the county leadership will not abandon its citizens or in any way influence companies to mistreat their workforce.
“In the same vein, we have no power to override judicial matters, but we will negotiate and guide the process up to the end,” Cooper assured the group.
The Assistant Superintendent for Development prevailed on the Labor Coordinator of the county, Atoka Quoi, to ensure that the case is speedily handled.
However, the head of Public Defender lawyers in the county, Y. Menwaseh Paybaye, has condemned the action of the group and asked them to await justice as the case was being filed before the 8th Judicial Circuit Court.