Vol. 2, Iss. 3 | Oct. 30, 2008
Letter from the President
Since issuing the last Firestone Voice, I am happy to report that Firestone and our employees have continued to make great strides in Liberia. From signing a mutually beneficial agreement with the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) to opening a state-of-the-art water treatment facility, Firestone is committed to rebuilding our operations and improving living conditions for our employees and all Liberians after the devastating civil war.
Continue reading to learn about these developments and more. As always, visit our Web site (www.firestonenaturalrubber.com) for timely updates.
Thank you for your continued interest in our company and its employees.
Dan Adomitis, President
Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC
Firestone and FAWUL Sign New Labor Agreement
After completing the collective bargaining process, Firestone and FAWUL have signed a new labor agreement that benefits the nearly 7,000 Firestone employees, as well as the company.
Firestone employees, who have long been represented by a union, are among the highest-paid workers in Liberia, making more than most civil servants. The company provides free housing and medical care for its employees and their families, free education (including high school) for their dependent children, plus paid vacation, subsidized food and retirement pensions.
||President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Tours Hevea Wood Operation
In September, Firestone was honored to host President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as she toured the new Hevea wood facility. Firestone's new Hevea wood operation is an environmentally friendly, sustainable operation that processes rubber trees into lumber after they have reached the end of their lifecycle for producing latex. The operation will provide an additional 500 jobs in Liberia, a nation that has an unemployment rate estimated at 85 percent.
Firestone Liberia Builds
New Water Treatment Facility
Firestone recently completed construction of a multi-million dollar water treatment facility to process water from its factory. The system takes process water from the factory through equalization and clarification tanks and into constructed wetlands on the company's property for natural, biological treatment. Analytical data, gathered weekly, and visual sampling, gathered at strategic locations along the treatment stages, confirm excellent water quality leaving the wetlands.
The advanced facility was developed with the help of the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency and Dr. Robert Knight, the foremost environmental wetlands expert in the world. This type of water treatment system is unparalleled in Liberia.
The water treatment facility is just one manifestation of Firestone Liberia's overall commitment to the environment. As part of its 2005 investment agreement with the Government of Liberia, Firestone created an ongoing Environmental Management Plan (EMP), which continues to serve as a daily guide for enhanced environmental stewardship, as well as for safe and environmentally sound operations.
Firestone Liberia Rewards Deserving Students
Firestone recently announced the names of 105 scholarship recipients for the 2008-2009 academic year. The Firestone Liberia Scholarship Program allows these deserving students to attend the primary, secondary or undergraduate institution of their choice. Because the education of children is key to the successful future of Liberia, Firestone is committed to rebuilding and enhancing Liberia's educational system. In addition to providing children with scholarships, Firestone runs a 25-school system with nearly 17,000 students currently attending free of charge.
View the complete list of scholarship winners.
Faces of Firestone — Joseph S. Phillips II
Joseph Phillips, a Production Manager for Firestone's Hevea wood operation, is not just an employee of the company; he says that Firestone is a part of him. Forty-five years ago, Phillips was born at Duside Hospital — one of Firestone's original health care facilities. He grew up in Division 13 of the Firestone farm and attended the Firestone Staff School, an elementary school. Phillips went to Ricks Institute in Virginia, Liberia, for high school and earned a bachelor's degree in business management at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. After college, he returned to his hometown of Harbel and started working at Firestone, where Phillips said it has been his goal to "work and raise my family in this environment as my father and grandfather had."
Read more Faces of Firestone profiles on our Web site.