Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law the Decent Work Bill recently passed by both Houses of the National legislature at a special ceremony organized by the Ministry of Labour.

 

The ceremony, which took place at the Liberian leader’s temporary office at the Foreign Ministry, was attended by officials of the Ministry of Labour, Liberia National Labour Congress, Liberia Chambers of Commerce, and Liberia Business Association as well as officials of the Ministry of State including the President’s Legal Advisor, Cllr. Seward Cooper.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader commended members of the National Legislature, Labour Ministry officials, the Liberia National Labour Congress, the Chambers of Commerce, the Liberia Business Association and all others who contributed to the formulation and subsequent passage of the Decent Work Bill. She regretted the absence of members of the National Legislature who she said worked very hard and ensured the passage of the bill into law.

President Sirleaf pointed out that she is assured that the Decent Work Bill will improve working conditions and benefits of the Liberian labour force and enhance transparency, integrity and honesty in the work places.

She pointed out that the process leading to the passage of the law was long and so it is her thinking that all the actors are in full agreement and will support its implementation. “The scrupulous enforcement of laws and policies is most times a challenge even with very good laws. All of us, including senior officials, institutions, organizations, workers and Liberians themselves have to play their part and support to full implementation of this long awaited Decent Work Bill for the good of the country,” President Sirleaf stressed.

She informed the gathering about the passage of the Small Business Act which instructs 25 percent of procurement funding in government to small Liberian businesses and expressed the hope that the businesses will see the law as an opportunity to take advantage and go out for it with transparency, honesty and integrity.

The Liberian Chief Executive pledged Government’s and her personal commitment to upholding the Small Business Act and the Decent Work Bill. “I like to personally thank all who contributed to this milestone achievement. I am particularly happy that I could be the one to sign into law this historic achievement which is realistically a legacy issue for the entire Government and all the other actors,” she indicated.

Earlier, Labour Minister Neto Zarzar Lighe, Sr. appreciated President Sirleaf for her personal role in the formulation and passage of the bill and for agreeing to have a public signing ceremony of the law.

He also commended members of the National Legislature for the passage of the law and described the passage and subsequent signing as a milestone that is appreciated by the country’s partners in the labour sector.

Speaking separately, the Vice President of the Liberia Chambers of Commerce, Tony Hage; Secretary General of the Liberia Labour Congress, David D. Sackoh and the President of the Liberia Business Association, D. Maxwell Saah Kemayan praised President Sirleaf and the Liberian Government for finally ensuring the passage and signing into the law of the Decent Work Bill.

They expressed the hope that the availability of a Decent Work Bill will improve performance in the work place, protect the workforce, and enhance harmony and peace among workers. They indicated that the law is an important gift any leader could give workers.

Mr. Kemayan in particular commended President Sirleaf for appointing Neto Lighe as Minister of Labour and pointed out that for the first time, indigenous Liberian businesses were represented at the ILO Congress in Geneva through his leadership.