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Liberia: Union rights now - reinstate fired union leaders

In partnership with Public Services International, a global trade union federation representing 20 million working women and men who deliver vital public services in 154 countries, the International Transport Workers Federation, an international federation of transport workers' trade unions with around 700 unions representing over 4.5 million transport workers from some 150 countries and ITUC Africa, the African regional organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation.

In February 2014, twenty-two union leaders across the country were fired without any hearing by the Health Minister of Liberia following a nationwide strike against poor working conditions in the health sector. Twenty were later reinstated except for Joseph S. Tamba and George Poe Williams, respectively President and General Secretary of PSI affiliate NAHWAL (National Health Workers' Association of Liberia). The strike followed repeated attempts to seek change through negotiations and dialogue which the government rebuffed. These deplorable working conditions had fatal consequences: the lack of protective equipment, long working hours and the lack of medication in the fight against Ebola caused hundreds of deaths amongst health workers.

To date, it remains illegal for public service workers to organise and form or join a union that represents them although Liberia has ratified ILO Conventions 87 and 98.

PSI, ITF and ITUC Africa ask affiliates and allies to send letters to the Liberian government calling for the reinstatement of dismissed workers, demanding the recognition of the right to organize for public service workers and the respect of trade union rights for all workers in Liberia!

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