By David Stenerud
Translated by Elisabeth Christensen
Due to the fact that the disarming and demobilisation process in Tubmanburg in Liberia is coming to an end, the Norwegian Refugee Counsil (NRC) reduced their workstock during the middle of July. It ment that at least 100 contracts were brought to an end. But this has not been done in a resonable manner, according to the Liberian workers .
According to the newspaper, The News, of capital Monrovia, the workers say they have been victim to several contract breaks: Such as one weeks verbal notice, instead of one months writen notice as they are entitled to. They have been payed 217 dollar per month – the agreement was 275 dollar. They were held at work from seven morning until seven at night, including Sundays and public holidays, with no overtime pay.
The workers now claim at least one months pay in compensation.
Program coordinator for Western Africa at NRC, Gro Anett Nicolaysen, told NorWatch that none of the assertions made by the dismissed workers are correct.
– It is word against word, but our solicitor here has done a resyme and has found that there is nothing to comment on, claimed Nicolaysen.
She does, however, express a certain understanding for the dismissed workers.
– The situation in Liberia is very difficult, many of those who make these claims are earlier military commanders, and therefore there is reason to believe that there could be political and social reasons for their demands, explains the program coordinator.
A meeting between the parts, which was planned for Thursday, July 29, has been pursponed to week 32.
– We have beliefe that this will work out, says ass. Director for demobilisation camp in Tubmanburg, Elin Gjære said to NorWatch.
Gjære claims that there is only a handful of workers behind the demands and the stories in Monrovia daily ‘The News’. She doubts weather the group speak for all onehundred workers.
– Will you make concession to the workers?
– There is in a way nothing to concess. Vi have followed legal processeses in Liberia, had communications, replies assistant director Elin Gjære.
The facts: The NRC camp in Tubmanburg
The Norwegian Refugee Council have been responsible for the socalled D2-unit in Tubmanburg. The military are responsible for D1 and also take care of disarming, whilst the Norwegian organization administrate for demobilization.
The Liberians are internated in NRC's demobilisation camp for five days. Here they are being identified and registred, geographical origins are mapped out, mental and physical health cheques are carried out and social education is given. Minors are selected and taken care of seperately.
The process has almost come to an end, and the workstock is now cut 50 percent.