Is Firestone Liberia Ending Rice Provision To Workers?

Firestone, Kakata, Liberia – May 21, 2019: It appears that the Management of Liberia’s largest concession companies Firestone is eliminating the provision of rice to its employees as the company cuts back on its expenses due to the global fall in rubber prices.

Firestone Rubber Trees
Firestone Rubber Trees

In March, Firestone Liberia announced the layoff of about 13 percent of its workforce.

 Almost since its operations began in Liberia, the concession had been providing the much preferred American parboiled rice at a reduce price to its employees to supplement the low wages it pays them. Payment for rice is deducted from the salaries of employees at a steep discount. Rice is the staple in Liberia.

According to a source, Firestone switched to an indian variety of rice almost a year ago and resumed provision. But it now appears that this benefit is being curtailed.

When contacted to ascertain the veracity of this suspension of price provision to employees, a public relations officer at Firestone told West African Journal Magazine in a statement on Monday that, “ We cannot comment on ongoing (CBA)Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.”

 All indications point to some kind of negotiations current underway over the issue between the Workers Union and the Management team of Firestone.

In 1926, Firestone entered into a 99 year countract with the Government of Liberia signed a 99-year contract with the Liberian government for operations of a rubber plantation which  covers almost 200 square miles east of the capital Monrovia.

 By Our Reporter

West African Journal Magazine

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