PRESS RELEASE: Statement on the Alleged Assault at GT Bank Liberia

Our attention has been drawn to the recent alleged assault incident at the Guarantee Trust Bank in which an employee was physically and mentally abused by the managing director of the bank. We have also obtained additional reports from bank employees of bad labor practices, unjustified dismissals, retaliation, and the creation of a hostile work environment.

On Tuesday, August 28, 2018, it was alleged that GT Bank’s managing director, Ayodi Bejide, threw a desk calculator at Edward Freeman, a senior manager, causing injuries and bodily harm.

The members of the Association of Liberian Human Resources Professionals condemn this barbaric behavior of a supposedly professional managing director. Under no circumstance is it acceptable for anyone to physically or psychologically abuse an employee who is under his authority.

We are alarmed about the numerous complaints that have been reported to the Ministry of Labour and the Central Bank of Liberia by employees of GT Bank about the GT Bank management team. This confirms that this behavior is embedded within the bank’s culture.

As we keenly follow the prompt interventions of the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia National Police to conduct a full investigation of the alleged assault and other allegations reported by employees of GT Bank, we are of the conviction that justice will be served, and the appropriate penalties will be levied upon those in violation of proper workplace governance.

We hope that this incident will serve as a deterrent to heads of institutions who are in the constant act of dehumanizing the workforce.  We also request that any staff facing similar situations should report the matter to the Ministry of Labour or the Association of Liberian Human Resources Professionals for full investigation according to the Decent Work Act.

Jonah Soe Kotee

Jonah Soe Kotee is the president of the Association of Liberian Human Resource Professionals and director of human resources at Partners in Health/Liberia, a Harvard-affiliated international NGO that has partnered with the government of Liberia to strengthen health systems. The opinions stated in this article are those of the author and are not the positions of Partners In Health.

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