How many people does Firestone Natural Rubber Company employ?
The company employs more than 8,000 people. Over 99.6% percent of Firestone Natural Rubber Company’s employees are citizens of Liberia.
Are employees paid a good wage at Firestone Natural Rubber Company?
Salaries at Firestone Natural Rubber Company are among the best in Liberia. In addition to salary, employees also receive substantial employee benefits including free housing, free medical care, free education for their children, subsidized food, paid time off and a pension upon retirement.
Are Firestone Natural Rubber Company workers unionized?
Firestone workers in Liberia have been represented by the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) since well before the civil war.
How is the relationship between Firestone Natural Rubber Company and FAWUL?
Firestone Natural Rubber Company has a very productive relationship with the employee union, FAWUL.
Does Firestone Natural Rubber Company have a good relationship with the government of Liberia?
Firestone Natural Rubber Company is a partner in progress with the government of Liberia. As the largest private employer in Liberia, Firestone Natural Rubber Company has a proven track record of investing in Liberia. Since the end of the war, Firestone Natural Rubber Company has invested more than $147 million in capital projects in Liberia and will invest tens of millions more. These improvements include employee housing, replanting, roads, transportation, schools, medical facilities and other infrastructure. Since 2004, Firestone has injected over US$ 1 billion into the Liberian economy in the form of taxes, payrolls and pensions, rubber purchases, local purchases, etc.
Firestone Natural Rubber Company assists the government on national issues such as help combating the Ebola outbreak. Firestone Natural Rubber Company is working closely with the government to help stop the spread of the disease and is also working with the Ministry of Health to share best practices on Ebola prevention and containment. We also provide stipends and logistics to the local MOH team to help in this fight.
Does Firestone Natural Rubber Company have a good relationship with the people of Liberia?
Firestone has been in Liberia since 1926. There have been several instances in the past where political and civil unrest has made life in Liberia very difficult. Moreover with a ready supply of natural rubber available in the Far East, rubber from Liberia is not as essential as it used to be in the 1st half of the 20th century. Yet Firestone stays on in Liberia because of the special relationship it enjoys with the Liberian people. This is the reason why the company returned to Liberia even during very difficult circumstances.
Firestone Natural Rubber Company deeply cares about the welfare of its employees and the people of Liberia. It is committed to helping Liberia rebuild, and to improve the live of all Liberians. Firestone is here for the long haul.
What products are made as a result of the farm business?
We currently produce Technically Specified Block Rubber and Rubber wood. The technically specified block rubber is used in the production of Firestone tires.
After reaching the end of their lifecycle, our rubber trees are cut and processed into ecologically friendly and durable value added hardwood products. This wood is used to make furniture, flooring, doors, paneling etc.
What education services does Firestone provide in Liberia?
Education is critical to the progress of Liberia. The company offers free education to the children of its employees. It operates 27 schools – 26 primary and junior high schools and one high school educating over 16,000 students. Firestone Natural Rubber offers scholarships to students to pursue higher education in Liberia. We provide free K-12 education to all registered dependents of our employees.
We also provide scholarships for deserving Liberian students studying at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.
Firestone Natural Rubber Company also provides on-the-job training for employees and adult literacy and skills training programs for employees and Liberians in the surrounding community.
What health care services does Firestone Natural Rubber Company provide?
Firestone Natural Rubber Company owns and operates a 300 bed hospital and 8 other health facilities around the farm. Together these facilities treat about 5700 patients every month. These are mainly our employees and their dependents. The hospital is considered to be one of the best in Liberia. The Firestone Medical Center at Duside, has been on the front lines of the war against Ebola during the recent outbreak. The hospital has an Ebola Treatment Unit and has treated and saved several patients from the deadly virus.
Does Firestone Natural Rubber Company provide housing for employees?
All of Firestone’s employees are entitled to free housing. We are currently constructing newer and better homes for our workforce.
What has been Firestone Natural Rubber Company’s response to the recent Ebola outbreak?
Firestone Natural Rubber Company’s response to the Ebola health crisis includes:
• Community Education and Awareness Program
• Community Involvement and Support
• Active Case Finding and Rapid Case Investigation
• Diligent Contact Tracing and Monitoring
• Stratified Monitoring of Contacts According to Risk Levels
• Community Watch
• Daily Monitoring at Home or Clinic
• Voluntary Quarantine of High Risk Contacts
• Infection Control Protocols, Training of HCWs, PPE Availability
• Specimen Collection for All Suspect Cases
• Screening Procedures/Triage in all Medical Facilities
• Case Management in own ETU
• Reintegration Program for All Survivors
The hospital and its Ebola Treatment Unit have treated and saved several patients who survived the Ebola virus.
Did Firestone Natural Rubber Company support the Charles Taylor regime? Did it financially support it?
Firestone did not support the Charles Taylor regime or any side during the Liberian civil wars. Like all other businesses operating in Liberia at that time, we paid taxes to the government in charge.
Did Firestone Natural Rubber Company pay Charles Taylor money to operate?
NO. We did not pay any money to Charles Taylor to operate. During the war years, the NPRAG government of Charles Taylor which controlled the Firestone Concession area, was recognized by the international community as the de-facto government of greater Liberia. As such, Firestone Natural Rubber Company paid taxes to the government that we operated under.
What did Firestone know of what was happening during this time?
Firestone Natural Rubber Company knew that the Liberian civil wars were an extremely dangerous time for its employees and business. Safety was the number one concern and when the company knew the safety of its employees could not be protected, it closed operations. Still, Firestone Natural Rubber Company delivered food and attempted to visit the site to make sure its employees remained safe even when it had closed its doors.
What was life like at Firestone Natural Rubber Company during Liberia’s civil war?
It was an extremely dangerous time for all Liberians during the civil war. Safety was the number one concern and when the company knew the safety of its employees could not be protected, it closed operations. Still, Firestone Natural Rubber Company delivered food and attempted to visit the site to make sure its employees remained safe even when it had closed its doors.
When did Firestone close its Liberian operations?
Firestone had to shut down operations during the following periods due to the civil crisis:
1: June 1990 to March 1992
2: October 1992 to February 1997
During some of these periods Firestone Management maintained a skeleton staff that monitored the situation and assessed damages – but operations were at a standstill.
What happened at the plant site when it was closed?
When the plant site was closed, rebels looted and destroyed much of the plant’s infrastructure including the hospital, factory, housing and schools. Most of the inventories, supplies and equipment were also looted including, rice, fuel, vehicles, machinery etc,.
What happened at Camp Carter? What was Firestone Natural Rubber Company’s involvement?
This was a horrific time in Liberian history. Hundreds were killed in the Camp Carter Massacre in 1993. Firestone Natural Rubber Company had no involvement in this horrible crime. Firestone was closed at this time because the safety of its employees could not be guaranteed.
Why did Firestone Natural Rubber Company return to Liberia?
At every stage during the war Firestone made concerted efforts to return and start up operations of Firestone Natural Rubber. This was the only way we could ensure the safety and well being of our employees.
The company did not want to walk away from its employees following the war.