By Bill Cooper
The Dock Workers Union of Liberia (DOWUL) at the Freeport of Monrovia has inducted into office its newly elected officials intended to steer the affairs of the union for the next three years.
Those inducted into office include Moses M. Sheriff, president; Terry Kpowolo, Vice-president for Administration; Aaron M. Sehplah, Vice-president for Operation; Sonzai Kelvin Diahn, Secretary General; Jerret R. Bonner, Assistant Secretary General and Emmanuel W. Teah, Chaplain.
The colorful event held at the premises of the National Port Authority (NPA) over the weekend, brought face-to-face past and present employees of the Port as well as the APM Terminals and LPRC workers Unions, the Ministry of Labor and NPA Management tem among others.
Delivering his inaugural address, DOWUL’s newly inducted president, Moses M. Sheriff lauded his colleagues for the confidence and trust reposed in him to lead and transform DOWUL within his three years’ leadership.
He said despite being aware of the burning issues affecting the general welfare of the entire workforce of the Union, he will ensure that DOWUL under his leadership through constructive dialogue address those pressing issues for the common good of the employees at all government’s ports across Liberia.
According to him, upon taking office he will ensure the reinstating of the Union’s membership on the Board of Directors of the NPA, a seat he said has been vacant for nearly five years which made the NPA Board incomplete with 14 members instead of 15.
Mr. Sheriff named medical insurance, transportation benefit, monthly rice rations, death benefits, protective gears, and uniforms for LSP and fire service personnel as well as safety equipment for specific departments among others are some areas his leadership seeks to also holistically address within his first 90 days in office.
He further stated, “We will deploy everything within our negotiation powers to get management committed to the provision of these goods and services, which are part of our immunities as a workforce.”
“As part of our 90 days’ deliverables also will be the renovation of the only Port’s Clinic to ensure that it is operational and functional to respond to the first-aids need, as well as an ambulance for NPA staff and a total renovation of the Union’s office space,” Sheriff added.
He then assured his colleagues of his leadership’s commitment in ensuring that training opportunities for about 75 percent of its members who are new on the job at the port as means to improve and build their capacity.
He warned that while it is true that his leadership remains very open to every conversation, negotiation and settlement that would articulate the interest of its members, his leadership will remain unbending, uncompromising and non-subjective to any attempts by management and, or individuals alike to usurp their constitutional mandates.
Serving as guest speaker earlier, Jerry R.B. Duplaye cautioned both the newly inducted leadership and the NPA management to always listen to the plights of workers at all times so as to avoid any misunderstanding or conflict that could undermine the growth and progress of the port.
He concluded, “Your leadership should also ensure more training to be organized by the NPA management as was done in the years 1960-1996 respectively to save lives.”
Dock Workers Union
Inducts New Leadership
By Bill Cooper