By Richard Stephens
In what appears to be an upheaval is expected to occur Monday on the grounds of the Capitol Building, as a group of former workers of the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU), Thursday converged on the grounds in demand of their risk benefit with a threat to disrupt normal activities at the Capitol.
The group through their spokesman, Julius Myers, said the Government of Liberia has failed to pay their risk benefit that was promised them by the World Bank.
Mr. Myers disclosed that each of the workers is expected to receive US5, 000.00 for the risk they took during the heat of the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic noting that during this period they were rejected by their family members for fear that they had contracted the virus.
He told reporters that the ETU workers were recruited by medicine San Frontier (MSF) in September of 2014 with the knowledge of the government.
Myers also explained that the government promised to pay the risk benefit but was scrutinizing the names for fear of ghost names among them since nine months ago saying that nothing has been done since that promise.
He indicated that the Ministry of Health had earlier told them that there was a risk benefit pending for the ETU workers for risking their lives during the outbreak of the virus stressing that they have
contacted all relevant agencies but to no avail.
“This is why we have resolved to make public demand for our pay because we suffered for it; moreover, we have got to register our children,” he asserted. Myers said similar amount was paid to ETU workers in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Health Grand Kru County Senator Dr. Peter Coleman who met with a delegation of the aggrieved workers appealed to the former ETU workers to remain calm as the government was working out modalities to give them package but not risk benefits.
Dr. Coleman said at no time did the World Bank and the Government of Liberia ever promised risk benefits for the former ETU workers but appreciation package.
He noted that the government is trying to identify resources for the package saying that this would be done upon the return of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to the country.