FAWUL Denies Reports of Firestone’s Failure to Provide Employees with Protective Gear Employees

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The leadership of the Firestone Agriculture Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) has denied a recent media report that Firestone-Liberia has reneged on providing safety materials to the plantation’s tappers.

FAWUL secretary general Jacovo Kerkula clarified that contrary to the report, Firestone management has provided essential safety materials to its employees including the tappers.

Mr. Kerkula said between 2007 and 2008, FAWUL began negotiating with the management during the signing of the first post war collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the company and the union.

Since the signing of the CBA, the company has committed itself to providing safety materials to the tappers including rain-boots, safety shoes and eye protective glasses, Kerkula said.

The clarification followed recent media reports that since Firestone-Liberia began operations in the 1920s, it has failed to give safety gears to the tappers, thereby undermining their safety on the job.

Kerkula said that the clarification is necessary to give the public a clear picture of what is unfolding regarding relations between management and the workers’ union.

He said the workers are collaborating with the management to ensure a win-win situation in the interest of both the workers and the management.

Meanwhile, FAWUL has frowned on “false alarms” being raised by one of its local leaders, Edwin Fallah.

Kerkula said an allegation attributed to Fallah that a worker on the plantation suffered an eye injury while tapping because of an alleged lack of safety materials is totally false.

He noted further that safety materials recently distributed to the tappers was just a test case, and that the materials were not enough to meet the workers’ demand.

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