By: Lewis K. Glay


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted March 23, 2006


The Cocopa Rubber Plantation under the management of the Liberia Company(LIBCO) has signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA) with Liberia’s leading worker’s union along with one of its local branches.

LIBCO and the General Agriculture and Allied Worker’s Union(GAAWUL) and its Local #5 Cocopa Agriculture Workers’ Union(COAWU) signed the three- year agreement at the Musu’s Spot, Congo Town at 3:15 pm last Thursday.

The 12- page document was put together by management and GAAWUL/COAWU to promote the interest of Cocopa employees, the corporation and the economy of the Republic of Liberia, consistent with the labor laws of the country.
Accordingly, the duration of the agreement runs from 1 March 2006 to 28 February 2009 and its expiration shall be followed by an automatic extension from year to year until a written notice of desire to negotiate a new agreement either in part or whole is decided by the parties concerned.

The document provides salary/wage increments for employees in the following categories: general workers-USD 2.25; 2.30 and 2.40 for 1st, 2nd & 3rd year, tapers-USD 3.00; 3.05 and 3.15, headmen-3.70; 4.00 and 4.30 and other skilled employees-3%; 4% and 5%, respectively.

The tapers in addition to their normal daily wages are to be paid production bonus of US 0.02 cent per field adjusted pounds from production by clones:( PR-107, RR1M 600, GT-1 PB-551 and PB-86 as well as production by clones(seedlings and Harbel-1).

Management also agreed to rehabilitate damaged facilities such as housing, toilets, bathrooms, hand -pumps, among others for sanitation purposes which the corporation assured won’t be compromised.

Natural death, sick leave, annual leave, insurance, retirement, medical, redundancy, upgrading the plantation’s school system to junior & senior high levels in the three- year period were extensively negotiated and agreed upon while the union was recognized as the sole Collective Bargaining Agent for the employees who are covered by the agreement.

In line with safety equipment which is consistent with government of Liberia’s safety standard, the corporation will provide eye protector, masks, hand gloves, safety boots, raincoats, helmets, among other elements for categories of workers as far as acceptable practices and protocols of the natural rubber industry are concerned.

At the signing ceremony, signatories to the agreement expressed satisfaction over the development, hoping that the concluded negotiation would harness industrial harmony at the plantation.

In separate remarks, the signatories said the move was the manifestation of respect for the labor law practices of Liberia which the current government wishes to see implemented by companies operating in the country.

They called on employees who are covered by the agreement to seek constructive dialogue with management in case of doubts over any particular working condition that may tend to affect them, other than instituting strike action to seek redress.

Those who affixed signatures include: Lavelaku B. Stanley-President/GAAWUL, Alfred B.Z. Summerville-Deputy Sec. Gen./GAAWUL, Feemour A. Tolbert-Director/Trade Union Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Gondeh Nehnwah-President/COAWU. Others are George Lobbo-Administrative Manager/LIBCO, Gboo Yeanay-Operation Manager/LIBCO, David K. Mensah-General Services Manager/LIBCO, among others.

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