Firestone Employees Abort Protest

Days following an intense protest in the Firestone Rubber Plantation, employees of the Company have agreed to abort their action and resume normal work soon.

The worker’s decision to abort their protest is based on the intervention of the Liberian Government through the Labour and Justice Ministries respectively.

The Ministries’ intervention was triggered by a recent protest staged by several aggrieved employees of Firestone Liberia on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 in demand of eight dollars thirty-six cents they claimed the Company owed each of them.

During the protest, the aggrieved workers blocked roads with logs (Firestone Rubber Trees) they fell with axes and cutlasses preventing cars from entering and leaving the plantation while motorbike riders were finding it difficult to make their way out with their motorcycles.

The angry workers in an interview with newsmen disclosed that a statement was made by the Company’s management when he appeared before members of the Representatives of Liberia that the least works (Tappers) are earning US$8.36 per day something that led them to stage a protest.

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Rubber tapper returning to work

But a release from the Labor Ministry indicates that the Firestone employees reached the decision on Thursday at a meeting held at the Labour Ministry in Montserrado.

The release noted that the workers through their spokesperson, Luogon Polay delivered five- counts to the Liberian Government’s negotiation team led by the Justice Minister, Cllr. Musa Dean as issues that triggered the workers’ action.

Justice Minister Dean speaking following their discussion guaranteed the workers’ interest that not a single worker will be penalized by the Firestone management for expressing their views.

The Firestone Management was then instructed by Cllr. Dean to give their employees handbook within a logical period of time, because according to him, by that the workers will be able to know what they should do and what they should not do.

The Minister also mandated that an investigation is conducted into a report of the firing of live bullets during the strike action on the plantation.

He, however, promised the workers that the Government of Liberia mediation team will forward their concerns to Dr. George M. Weah whom he said is very concern about their plight.

He meanwhile called for the setting up of a committee comprising of the Firestone Management, Workers’ Representatives and the Government to mediate in the workers’ grievances and report within two weeks.

For his part, Minister Moses Y. Kollie of the Ministry of Labor said he was excited on grounds that the workers resolved to go back to work following the government’s involvement and said it clearly shows that the Weah-led administration is concern about the welfare of workers in the country.

Minister Moses further encouraged the representatives of the Firestone Workers to respect and listen to them as their leaders to allow them solved the issues.
Meanwhile, the Firestone workers named Mr. Luogon Polay, Chairman; Abraham Nimene, Co-chair; Raymond C. Yeon, Secretary; Tito B. Tarnah, Alice Seh, Abel F. Ngigie and Edwin Fallah on a seven-member committee to represent them on the tripartite committee proposed by the government to help in the process of dialogue.

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