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NTA Workers Still On Harbie McCualey’s Back For Corruption

Some workers at the National Transit Authority-NTA, in the early hours of yesterday overwhelmed the compound of National Transport Authority (NTA) in demand of the unconditional dismissal of Managing Director Harbie McCualey for what they termed as corruption and administrative incompetence.
Also demanding payment for allowances owed them for over three years, the aggrieved workers who were mostly females barricaded the main entrances and protested that not a single bus would be made to leave the compound until their demands are met thereby accusing MD McCualey of allegedly being involved in rampant corruption and nepotism and therefore.
On Thursday July 22, 2021, Mr. McCualey was escorted to the headquarters by investigators of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and officers of the Liberia National Police following allegations of bad labor practice by some workers who are still calling for his removal.
The arrest of the NTA boss is the first major action taken by the newly appointed boss of the LACC Cllr. Edwin Martins as was inducted the same day of the arrest of McCauley.
Cllr. Martins declined to speak to journalists on the arrest of his fellow officers of government on grounds that the arrest was the first step and preliminary investigation. He, however, wants the public to be calm and trust the new LACC.
The action on the part of the LACC and the LNP came as a relief for some of the employees whose quest was that McCauley be prosecuted following the investigation but saw it as a slap in their faces when their MD was released and returned to work.
It can be recalled, Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson declared as illegal a recent strike action staged by the NTA workers in front of the Foreign Ministry and stated that his Ministry had no communication informing it about planned strike action by the NTA Workers in keeping with the Labour Law of Liberia.
Minister Gibson cautioned them that any go-slow must be done within their premises, but staging a protest before the Executive Mansion will mean that it is not just a labor issue rather it is politically motivated.
He said that the next time an illegal strike take place in entities under their supervision of UWUL and when it is established that the workplace union is ignorant of the rule, the Ministry will suspend their license.
During that meeting, the Minister held UWUL responsible not just because the strike was declared illegal, but because they failed to fulfilled their role by having workshops with the workplace union to educate them on the procedures to be followed and the conditions met before embarking strike action as is enshrined in the Labour Law of Liberia.
The Labour Minister said that from the explanation of the Chairman of the NTA Workers Union, it appeared that UWUL has not been playing her role nothing, “If the Chairman does not know the rule of engagement with regards to strike, it means that his members will not know as well.”
Minister Gibson then mandated the Management of NTA to fully adhere to Article 38 of the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) entered into between it and workers which called for the provision supply of a rice bonus to workers during the July 26 and Christmas celebrations.
The Minister also has ordered the Management to ensure that all workers of the NTA receive at least one month salary before July 26 and the fifty workers who have not received any portion of their arrears should be paid an additional one month of their arrears.
“It is also our considered opinion here, that Management should strive to ensure that the total salary arrears should be settled within the period of three months. If for any reason there are financial constraints that make it appear not possible to achieve this, the Ministry must be informed before the end of sixty days. Where we will open a dialogue between the Management and workers, but they must not be taken by surprise.”
In conclusion, the Labour Minister with immediate effect mandated both workers union and management to ensure that the buses are put back on the road before July 26 to enable citizens commute freely during holiday celebrations.

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