Chinese Contractors Receive Overtime Pay After Protest
By Varney K. Sirleaf
Over four hundred contractors hired by the Chinese Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group, Co., Ltd. (JPC) to construct the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town yesterday protested for their overtime pay due them by the Company.
According to the spokesman of the aggrieved contractors, Prince Quiyon, he said the company terminated their contracts few months ago, but had refused to pay their overtime.
Prince said they are to be paid 70 cents per hour for overtime by JPC but has taken them long time to pay them.
“We were paid six dollars per day and were also promised to be paid 70¢ per hour for overtime. When they terminated our contracts, they refused to pay us the overtime due us; that’s why we blockaded the road this morning for them to pay us,” Prince Quiyon explained to a team of journalists.
Other contractors the INQUIRER spoke to were Paul James and Bayon Cyrus who said they worked for 11 months, but said were only paid for 10 months.
At the protest scene, the Assistant Minister for Labor Standard, Madam Welma Blaye-Sampson who was there to oversee the smooth payment of the contractors’ overtime said, the Ministry of Labor had earlier instructed the Company to pay the workers when the news got to them.
She stated that the contractors were given two hours by the company for lunch, but instead they used that for overtime.
The Minister further stated that it was in lieu of two hours overtime that the company had been delaying to pay them.
She explained that the work of the Labor Ministry is to make sure that the employer and employee work together, but stated if the employer refuses to live by their commitment, then the government would have come in to settle the misunderstanding.
She however said that everything was now calm as payment already started stating that ‘even those whose names were not found on the final listing, their supervisor was asked to provide a list for them to be paid.’
The Minister concluded by saying that the general work for the Ministerial Complex was completed and only left with the technical work.
Early yesterday morning, a group of young men blocked the road leading from ELWA Junction to Monrovia through the Tubman Boulevard in demand of their overtime pay owed them by the Chinese Company.
Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group, Co. Ltd (JPC) is the Chinese Company Constructing the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town which was initiated by the Ellen led administration.