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Senate finally passes decent work bill

Following a protracted period of three years, members of the Liberian Senate have overwhelmingly voted for the passage of the Decent Work Bill.

The decision by the Senate’s Plenary followed a recommendation made in a report from the Joint Committee on Labor and the Judiciary.

According to the Joint Committee recommendation, the numerical dollar value for Minimum Wage for the informal sector workers is US$3.40 cent, while formal sector workers shall be paid US$5.50 cent per day. 

Section 501 of the Liberian Labor Law gives the National Minimum Wage Board the mandate to review wages paid to employees for possible adjustment in order to respond to changing times and economic conditions in the labor sector of Liberia.

The bill was sent back to committee room last week, following intense debates in Plenary on the minimum wage set at $5.60 per day for employees as previously recommended in the Report by the Joint Committee on Labor and the Judiciary.

The passage of the Bill now brings relief to the labor sector and further guarantees job security of all employees in workplaces.

Prior to the passage of the bill, both the House of Representatives and Liberian Senate passed the bill, but with different versions. The leaderships of the two chambers resolved to set up a conference committee, which took about one year to conclude its findings regarding the way forward. However , following the threat of a five-day go-slow action issued recently by the Liberia Labor Congress, the Liberian Senate- ahead of the protest, yesterday passed the bill.  

Despite the decision, many employees of the Legislature at the Capitol Building who attended the voting process expressed total disappointment with the numerical value. 

Mr. John Paul said US$5.50 cent as minimum wage was a total disgrace to the workforce of the country, urging the Labor Congress to resist the numerical valued because the figure was little and did not reflect today’s realities. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor - Edited by George Barpeen

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