Acting Labor Minister Clarifies Media Report

BY Jefferson D.Tweh

Acting Labor Minister, J. Cole Bangalu has taken serious exception to reports in the Liberian media that he has condemned the appointment of Cllr. Juah Lawson as Minister of Labor by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

According to the reports that circulated in the media Mr. Bangalu has allegedly complained that he is more qualified than Cllr. Lawson who was appointed by the President as Minister of Labor.

Mr. Bangalu said the publications are not very much counter-factual, but contemptible falsity cleverly organized by some detractors who want to sow seed of discord between him and Cllr. Lawson.

”As Associate Dean at the Law School, in my mind, Cllr.Juah Lawson is more than qualified for the job and I did not condemn her at all, and detractors failed to know that only President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has the power to appoint all of us at her will and pleasure,” Mr. Bangalu explained.

”Let me make it clear that I have not opposed the appointment of Cllr. Lawson and pledged commitment to working with her at the Ministry of Labor to enhance labor administration in the country,” he asserted.

According to Mr.Bangalu, the Ministry of Labor has taken administrative actions against two of its employees who have been involved in dubious acts and those employees are, Mr.Johnson Kollie, Calligrapher, Division of Alien Registration and Ms.Hannah Zoe Macaulay, Director of Trade Union Affairs.

Mr.Bangalu narrated that Mr. Kollie has been suspended from the job for time indefinite for receiving US$1,500.00 from the Management of Sinoe Gold Inc.for the act of processing two work permits for the foreign employees last year November, but failed to process said work permit.

An internal investigation conducted by the legal sections of the Ministry of Labor revealed that indeed Mr.Kollie admitted receiving said amount from Mr.Saidu Mohammed Carlon of Sinoe Gold Inc.

Mr.Bangalu said that the Ministry also investigated Ms.Hannah Macaulay on allegation of extorting money from unions with the intent to issue them certificates and used the Lofa County Motor Cycle Union as a case study, which Ms.Macaulay allegedly extorted certain sum of money for the issuance of certificates, and predicated upon the ugly hebavior, the Ministry has suspended her.

According to Mr.Bangalu,the Ministry has received a report from Harper, Maryland County that some persons are in the habit of impersonating  as employees of the Ministry of Labor and are going around intimidating and harassing peaceful business institutions and citizens in the name of the Ministry and the Labor Ministry considered such report as embarrassing situation and invite its Labor Commissioner in the county to come to Monrovia and verify the report.

“Let me also call on all employees and employers to bring to the attention of the Ministry of Labor complaints of extortion or soliciting money by employees of the Ministry for immediate actions,” Mr. Bangalu concluded