On July 24, 2020, Firestone Liberia began the legal process, in compliance with the Decent Work Act of 2015, related to a workforce reduction action scheduled for the month of July. The company’s decision to reduce its workforce is always difficult, and only made after much thought and consideration for affected employees, their dependents and the business.
Firestone Liberia’s unsustainable losses, the ongoing depressed prices in natural rubber, the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, uncontrolled crime and theft, and high overhead costs of the company’s concession agreement, make this action critically necessary at this time. This action was taken after discussions with a high-level working group established by the Office of the President of Liberia, President George Manneh Weah whose objective is to collaborate on immediate and meaningful solutions to make the Firestone Liberia business sustainable through these very difficult economic times.
Members of the working group from the Government of Liberia include:
Minister Frank Musah Dean, Jr. Ministry of Justice - Chairman
Minister Moses Y. Kollie, Ministry of Labour - Member
Charles Bright, Economic Advisor to the President - Member
Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Ministry of Finance & Development Planning - Member
Minister Jeanine M. Cooper, Ministry of Agriculture - Member
Archie Bernard, Legal Advisor to the President
Molewuleh Gray, Chairman of the NIC
Additionally, based on confirmation by outside legal counsel, Firestone Liberia is fully compliant with the Decent Work Act of 2015, the company’s concession agreement, and all applicable laws and regulations of the Government of Liberia related to the planned redundancy action.
Per the Decent Work Act of 2015, the workforce reduction process provides for a 30-day period to work through the legal and detailed aspects of the action with the Ministry of Labour, and discuss and negotiate the process with union leadership. Firestone Liberia respects this process, and we hope all parties will do the same. We look forward to continuing with productive dialog in the days ahead.