On Thursday, October 13, a high-powered legislative delegation made up of roughly seven (7) members of the Honorable House of Representatives paid an official visit to the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC) operations site in Grand Cape Mount County, Western Liberia.
The visit is a follow-up to a recent assessment by the House of Representatives to determine if the Management of Bea Mountain is adhering to the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) signed with the Liberian Government, cancellation of casual workers for more than six (6) months without adhering to the Decent Work Act of Liberia 2015, according to a release from the Press and Public Affairs Bureau of the House (DWA).
Representative Willie, the delegation’s leader, informed the group that Speaker Bhofal Chambers had charged the Committee with determining if the Management of BMMC was addressing the labor issue brought up by the employees union. Rep. Willie also stated that the issue of Liberians in high managerial positions, as well as compensation inequalities between Liberians and Foreign Nationals, were important concerns to members of the House.
Ivar Jones, a representative for Margibi County District #1, said that the ongoing investigation’s focus must be on ensuring the safety of workers in concession stands across the nation. He added that as the public expects legislators to make wise decisions, initiatives like regular provision of personal protective equipment and improvements to health and safety must be seriously considered.
Following the visit, members of the House ordered BMMC management to raise the Clinic to the level of a hospital and provide injured workers with compensation as well as the opportunity to qualify Liberian doctors for employment. Members of the delegation were given a brief assurance by the country general manager of BMMC, Mr. Debar Allen, that the company would fully cooperate with the recommendation.
The group also had a strategic closed-door meeting with the leadership of the workers’ union to learn more about the problems that directly affected them. Hon. Vicent Willie, the head of the House Committee on Mines and Energy, Hon. Matthew Joe, Hon. Samuel Brown, Hon. Abu Kamara, Dorwon Gleekia, Hon. Ivan Jones, and Hon. Alfred Koiwood are among the delegation’s members.
Reported by: Joseph N. Kerkula