Over three thousand former workers of the Liberia Company [LIBCO] which subsequently became COCOPA Rubber Plantation and now Nimba Rubber Incorporation [NRI] are threatening to boycott the October polls in demand of US$2 Million severance benefits allegedly owed them by the company.
The ex-employees worked for the company from 1990 to 2013. Speaking to this paper, the head for the group, Mr. George Kruah said the threat is based on alleged failure of the plantation management to pay them their benefits.
According to him, the Eight Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, Nimba instructed the management to pay the former employees severance, but it has failed to do so.
Mr. Kruah continues that documents in their position were issued under the signature of ex- plantation manager Harrison Karnwea, now vice standard bearer of the Liberty Party.
He claims Mr. Karnwea, who is also former managing director of the Forestry Development Authority, is award of their plight, adding that he (Karnwea) even signed some of their documents, with expectation that the management would be able to pay them off.
At a meeting over the weekend in Gbaygblin Town near the plantation along the Ganta-Saclepea highway in Nimba, they resolved to boycott the pending elections until the company pay them severance benefits, totaling US$2 million.
Our correspondent says the Cocopa Rubber Plantation had witnessed several bloody demonstrations over employees’ salary and benefits in the past.
When contacted, former manager Mr. Harrison Karnwea declined to speak to our correspondent, saying “You are not a good Journalist, you are not the only journalist, you can record me and go ahead to write what you want to write.”
By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne