By Garmonyou Wilson
More than hundred former Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) workers yesterday stormed the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Congo Town; Paynesville in demand of arrears allegedly owed them by the Government of Liberia (GOL). According to a former ETU worker only identified as Samson, the GOL promised to pay risk benefits twice within the past six months but government had reneged on its promise to the health workers.
Samson told the INQUIRER that now with Ebola resurfacing in the country; it was the right time to remind the government of the sacrifices made by the former ETU workers during the outbreak of Ebola which surfaced in Liberia in March 2014. Ebola killed over 4000 Liberians and devastated the nation.
Samson continued that the aggrieved workers would disturb every activity of the Health Ministry until they are given their just benefits.
Our reporter who was on the scene observed the aggrieved former ETU workers blocking traffic, forcing themselves into the front gates of the MOH and singing anti-government slogans.
Officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) who were called on the scene detained several of the demonstrators. However when the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh arrived on the scene, he negotiated with the aggrieved former workers to meet with him at the Ministry of Justice to find an applicable solution to their plight. Cllr. Sannoh stated that any outcome from the meeting will be immediately forwarded to the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for redress.
Members of the aggrieved ETU workers met with Justice Minister Sannoh, but conclusions from the meeting were not disclosed up to press time.
Archie Sarnor who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved former ETU workers told the INQUIRER that ETU workers were making between US$1,000 and US$500 per month but when they received their salaries, they saw reductions for reasons not known to them.
Mr. Sarnor stated that the money was used for other purposes by the GOL at the detriment of the former ETU workers.
He stated further that Government has promised the former workers too many times without fulfilling its promises adding that it is now time that the government makes good its promises.