Plebo, Maryland County – Cavalla Rubber Corporation, one of Liberia’s largest rubber plantations, has come in the spotlight once again for not living up to bulk of its social development agreements, as workers of the company continue to complain about the bad livelihood conditions in the concession area.
In its social development agreement, the company is expected to provide good healthcare, education and good housing facilities for its staffers.
But the company is paying deaf ears to constant concerns of its workforce and affected communities.
Employees of the CRC are becoming weary of maltreatment and the appalling condition of their housing units.
But the company, continue to denied the claims, saying, “There is no bad labor practice at CRC/MOPP”
Investigation by businessDayliberia at CRC/MOPP recently found that there is inadequate healthcare, latrine facilities and safe drinking water in the concession area.
Some workers at the only health center ran by both CRC and Maryland Oil Palm Planation (MOPP) complained of working over time in dual roles due to insufficient workforce.
A staff, who preferred not to be named, expressed disenchantment over the company’s refusal to pay workers’ for overtime.
“Bulk of the health workers here are not real professionals, I mean doctors – so some of the cases can be taken away from here to other hospitals like Tapita or Monrovia. The road is bad and before you reach someone to that distance, they might not be living again,” the source said.
insufficient drugs to treat patients are among some of the challenges.
In the concession agreement with the Liberian government, CRC and MOPP are two separate companies and are expected to fulfill their respective social corporate responsibilities.
But the CRC management insists since MOPP is a sister company, they both share corporate obligations to the communities.
“MOPP is our sister company, this is the reason they are using the same health center for now,”
In one of the camps constructed for workers, dubbed Hospital Camp has over 500 residents, there is a hand pump serving as the only source of safe drinking water and two pit-latrines serving the entire camp.
Residents there are also complaining about family heads live in single rooms with close-fitting hall-way, usually used as kitchen.
Locals are also furious with the company for allegedly importing foreign workers from neighbouring Ivory Coast to do skilled and unskilled contracts, leaving out capable Liberians who are best suited for said jobs.
The aggrieved employees also claim that bulk of those holding senior managerial positions are also being recruited from across the border.
a rubber tapper, said the living condition of workers on the company speaks contrary to its social contract signed with government.
they still regret over government’s refusal to legally compel CRC to live up to its social mandate, thereby constraining several hundreds of its citizens to live in destitution.
business day Liberia source who describe situation as inhumane for the company “dependable health center to provide poor treatment while while workers are undergoing serious medical problem”.
“I came here since this morning and no one to attend to me. It was just few minutes ago that one of the workers brought me two pills of tablets. I told them that my private part was hurting and could not allow me to work, but they are telling me to go to work tomorrow,” our source explained.
A child of an employee, who gave BD a guided tour of his father’s unit, said he and his siblings sleep in the open space of the house because there’s only a room for their parents.
He said children are sometimes denied from using the two-room latrine.
However, CRC has condemned some of the assertions while at the same time admitting to several others.