By: Frank P. Martin
MONROVIA: Normal working activities at the National Transit Authority have effectively come to a standstill as aggrieved redundant workers of the state-owned entity blocked the main entrances leading to the company’s main offices along the Japan Freeway.
As a result of blockages set by the protesting former workers, vehicles including those belonging to senior officials of the entity are being stopped from gaining any access to the NTA compound.
The aggrieved redundant employees are demanding full payment of their salaries and other benefits allegedly owed by them by the NTA management.
The affected employees were ‘downsized’ for what the entity’s management earlier called “Lack of Finance” to maintain all employees on its payroll.
At least 50 employees of the entity were downsized in 2021.
The protesting ex-employees, were however seen dressed in outfits believed to be the regalia (including blue and red berets, among others) of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), which is now known as Grand Coalition for Democratic Change (Grand-CDC).
The Protestors accused NTA Managing Director, Harbie Macaulay, of violating their right by denying them their salaries and benefits after serving the entity for several years.
This paper has gathered that the NTA Management previously paid fifty per cent (50%) of the money in question in January of this, and the two parties (NTA Management, and the redundant workers) agreed for the last payment to be in March, 2023.
However, it is alleged that following the agreement, another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was reached earlier this month (April) for the Management to pay the balance of the money to the redundant employees.
NTA insiders who are familiar with the agreement disclosed that the NTA Management miserably failed to fulfill its part of said agreement, thus prompting the ongoing protest.
This paper also gathered that the aggrieved former employees have filed a formal complaint against the NTA Management to the Ministry of Labor.
Labor Ministry insiders who are also familiar with the discussion of the protestors’ complaint quoted the NTA Management team as telling the Labor Ministry that it is unable to pay the balance money in full but they are willing to make available quarter (25%).
The Ministry of Labor is yet to comment on the matter.
The NPA Managing Director did not response to phone call made to him by this paper for comment on the ex-employees’ protest action and the Labor ministry’s subsequent probe of the issue.