Vol. 4, Iss. 3 | October 8, 2010
Letter from the President
We are excited to provide several significant updates on our Liberian operation in this edition of the Firestone Voice, our third for 2010.
First and foremost, we are pleased to announce the signing of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between Firestone Liberia and the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL). Signed on June 28 after negotiations marked by open dialogue, mutual respect and a shared commitment to a common cause, this new agreement illustrates the parties' continuing partnership as we work together to rebuild our operations.
In addition, the company continues to advance our highly successful education and health care programs while we remain committed to helping rebuild the Liberian natural rubber industry through our rubber tree distribution initiative. We are proud of the socioeconomic progress we continue to see within our operation that is demonstrated in our new company statistics document, updated through the first half of this year.
We invite you to learn about these items and more below and on our website, www.FirestoneNaturalRubber.com. Thank you for your continued interest in our company and its employees.
Dan Adomitis, President
New Collective Bargaining Agreement Signals Continued Partnership At Firestone Liberia
The Firestone Liberia community is celebrating the signing of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between Firestone Liberia and the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL). The agreement, signed on June 28, signals the parties' continuing partnership as they work together to revitalize the natural rubber industry and help rebuild the company's operations.
"Our goal for the bargaining process was to once again work together to reach an agreement that would strengthen the business, the local community and Liberia as a whole. This agreement meets that goal," said Charles Stuart, Firestone Liberia President and Managing Director. "The most important aspect of the agreement is that it benefits all parties. It serves the interests of the company, our employees and their families."
In addition to wage increases of more than 3 percent over the three-year term, another important aspect of the new agreement is the shared desire by the company and FAWUL to change the current mode of latex transportation from the field to the weighing station. The agreement is in effect from 2010 through 2012, and replaces the previous agreement reached in August 2008.
Firestone Medical Center At Duside Hosts Launch of National Polio Eradication Campaign
Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, Minister of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia, recently joined other health care officials at the Firestone Medical Center at Duside to launch the final round of Liberia's national Polio Eradication Campaign, with the theme "Kicking Polio Out of Liberia."
In his remarks, Dr. Gwenigale commended Firestone Liberia's dedication to providing free health care for its employees and their dependents, and thanked the company for investing heavily in the reconstruction of the Firestone Medical Center at Duside after it was destroyed in the country's 14-year civil war. It was Dr. Gwenigale's first visit to the facility since it reopened as an inpatient care center in December 2008.
Firestone Liberia has previously hosted the Polio Eradication Campaign, as well as other international health care collaborations. In remarks on behalf of the company, Firestone Medical Center's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lyndon G. Mabande said, "it was always the pleasure of Firestone Liberia to host such an important health program in the interest of the Liberian people."
Free Rubber Tree Sapling Distribution Program Launches In Bong, Nimba Counties
Following through on its pledge to provide 700,000 free rubber seedlings to independent Liberian rubber farmers for the 2010 planting season, the company launched its annual Rubber Tree Distribution Program in Bong County on June 17 and Nimba County on July 2.
Part of a larger effort to revitalize the Liberian rubber industry that was destroyed during the country's 14-year civil war, Firestone Liberia has given Liberian farmers 1.75 million rubber tree saplings since the start of its distribution program in January 2008.
New Company Statistics Released
Firestone Liberia takes pride in the progress made every day in its ongoing rebuilding effort. Be sure to take the time to see the current overview of these efforts — from $89 million in post-war capital spending to more than 1,900 houses built since 2004 — in our latest stat sheet.