Monday, October 19, 2009

Riot at MTA

Riot erupts at MTA

The Headquarters of the Monrovia Transit Authority (MTA) in Gardnerville, Somalia Drive, was a scene of riot when employees of the company over the weekend, went on the rampage in demand of better salary, death benefit, fair labor practice among others.

Members of the Liberia National Police (LNP) who were dispatched on the scene to calm the situation encountered the aggrieved employees who entered the compound and toke some of the buses to allegedly create roadblocks to prevent vehicles from plying the Freeport-Paynesville highway and attempted taking some of the buses to unknown destinations. The police later retrieved the buses.

The employees claimed that the decision to take away some of the buses is to up blockade around Monrovia and its environs including the Capitol bye-pass, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to indicate the seriousness of their plights.

The workers among other things complained that the MTA management has refused to have them undergo group insurance scheme, something they noted endangers the lives of employees.

According to employees, the management also refused to insure the buses that transport more than 3,000 persons to their various destinations daily, adding, “you can not run this institution without insuring the buses and people that work here.”

“Our lives are in danger on a daily basis because in case of accident, the company will not be under obligation to cater our well-beings,” the protesters said. They also alleged that the management was denying them the right to unionize.

Our reporter who covered the riot scene noticed more than 40 buses packed with some parts extracted.

At the end of the riot, MTA Managing Director Senwan T. Wiah denied the allegations when reporters contacted him for reaction.

“I am not going to dignify some of those questions with answers, because they have no basis “, the flamboyant MD told reporters.

Meanwhile the employees and the management have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to address the situation. The MOU was carved by the Ministry of Labor along with other interested parties.

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