When is GVL starting work to employment in Butaw?
GVL already employs more than 1,200 people in Butaw. GVL will start further work and subsequent begin employment in Butaw as soon as there is a new agreement between Butaw citizens and the company, under FPIC process, for development of more land for company and community oil palm. Currently we are in are in talks with the citizens there and look forward to working with and growing with the community.
Is it correct that the company recently sacked 500 employees? What was the reason for this action, and what positions were eliminated?
This is not a recent development, what you are referring to is a layoff which occurred in May 2013 and was regrettable; we were obliged to lay off approximately 500 employees in Sinoe County. This was caused by stopping new land development in Butaw, where we had hired people for training and expansion in advance, as was our policy. The number of jobs we are able to offer is directly related to the acreage of land we are permitted to develop in any particular location. Priority for jobs at any of our locations will always remain with the local citizens near our areas of operation. No local citizens were affected by the reduction, those affected were people from areas where we had not yet started work. As part of the layoff arrangements, we provided compensation packages and food provisions.
Why is it that GVL is only employing Tarjuowon Citizens?
We first employ citizens from the areas in which we work. GVL is not employing only Tarjuowon citizens, but is following the signed agreement with the communities to give priority to proximate towns, clans and Tarjuowon people, and after that to Liberians. In other words, GVL seeks to make sure that every Liberian life is improved directly or indirectly, especially citizens originating from our operational areas. While in the process of doing that, GVL gives employment priority to residents of its affected communities. But GVL employes people from all parts of Liberia also.
Why is GVL using paramount chiefs and other community leaders to employ people?
While GVL respects traditional leaders and, community leaders, who are also looking after their people. We work together monitoring and ensuring that our agreements with the communities are fulfilled. The company is not carrying out employment through these leaders, but its Human Resource Department.