The Government announces a historic milestone of its successful conclusion of final payment to the dedicated 596 former workers of “Liberia Company,” widely known as Cocopa Rubber Plantation workers who served prior to the Liberian civil war in 1990.
These diligent former employees first approached the Government of Liberia in 1996 with a claim of US$772,425 as their rightful severance benefits owed to them by “Liberia Company” (LIBCO).
Unfortunately, their efforts during the interim government did not yield fruitful results, however, they remained hopeful that conditions would improve after the civil conflict.
They resumed their pursuit of justice under the administration of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006, 2011, and 2018 and later took legal action and adopted various strategies to secure their severance benefits.
In 2021, the Liberian government extended a listening ear to the former workers in an effort to resolve the long-standing issue and that involved the establishment of a joint Taskforce comprising the Ministries of Labour, Finance, and Justice.
Recognizing the significance of resolving this matter, the Ministry of Labour, led by Charles H. Gibson, engaged in a series of negotiations with the former workers and these negotiations fostered open dialogue and understanding, ultimately resulting in a mutually beneficial agreement in 2022.
The outcome of these negotiations reflects the dedication of both parties to finding an equitable solution and the former workers graciously accepted a settlement of US$ 386,212 as the first payment of their severance benefits, with disbursements commencing in July 2022.
The leadership of the former workers, represented by Chairman George B. Kruah; Marfred Yeegbeh, spokesperson and Amos Dolo, Secretary General, expressed their deep appreciation to the Liberian government for recognizing their tireless efforts to address this matter.
They also paid tribute to comrades who regrettably could not witness this resolution and to reaffirm their commitment to the agreement, they formally signed a waiver, acknowledging that the government of Liberia is no longer indebted to them in any capacity.
The Ministry of Labour extends heartfelt gratitude to these former workers for their patience, understanding, and unwavering cooperation throughout the years and their peaceful engagement with the government in pursuit of their rightfully earned benefits sets a commendable example for resolving similar disputes.
The government commended Nimba County authorities and all relevant parties, including the Nimba County Rubber Incorporated, for their constructive role in maintaining peace and stability during the negotiation process.