Over F/Stone’s Redundancy: House Summons Labor Minister

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Margibi County District #2 Representative Ivar Jones said said the decision to lay-off 800 employees amid the bad economy, "is troubling and provoking."

The House of Representatives has summoned Labour Minister Moses Kollie, to appear before that august body on Thursday, March 21, during its 21st day sitting, to give a status report on the laying off of 13 percent (approximately 800 employees) by the second quarter by Firestone-Liberia operations, and the way forward.

The sitting will be held in a regular or executive session, according to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, but many persons are of the view that the Thursday’s session should be an open one, because of the sensitivity of the redundancy of 800 employees from Firestone-Liberia.

Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar, proffered the motion for the agenda to be used at Tuesday’s session, but Margibi County District #2 Representative, Ivar Jones, said he was not ready to support the motion, a situation which was supported by other Representatives, thus putting the entire session in confusion. Some of the lawmakers were demanding that the redundancy exercise be included on the agenda.

Labor Minister Moses Kollie to appear on Thursday, March 21, during the House 21st day sitting to give a “Status Report on the laying off of 800 workers by Firestone Liberia.

According to Speaker Chambers, to ease the commotion, the issue will be discussed in an executive session and that the Labor Minister will appear before the august body on Thursday to give an updated status report; a decision that was unanimously agreed by plenary.

Rep. Jones, in whose district Firestone is located, said Firestone-Liberia’s decision in the wake of the current bad economy is “troubling and provoking.”

“Let’s assume each of the 800 employees has a family size of about 10; so we can say about 8,000 Liberians will be suffering. This is frustrating,” Rep. Jones said.

According to a Firestone Liberia press release, issued March 18th, “the action is necessary due to continued and unsustainable losses resulting from high overhead costs associated with the company’s Concession Agreement with the Liberian government; low natural rubber production because of the country’s prolonged civil wars, and continued low global natural rubber prices.”

Firestone-Liberia says it has been working closely with the Ministry of Labor and the Agricultural Agro-Processing and the Industrial Workers Union of Liberia (AAIWUL) to ensure that employees made redundant as part of its action will be done in accordance with all applicable Liberian labor laws, company policies, and the company’s collective bargaining agreement with AAIWUL.

“Unfortunately, these measures alone will not be enough to restore Firestone-Liberia to profitability. As a result, the company will continue to evaluate all aspects of its business to ensure long-term competitiveness and determine the best allocation of company resources to optimize our portfolio, processes, and culture,” the company said.

2 COMMENTS

  1. ” troubling and provoking ” ? But do yourself no harm by looking for a request from Firestone concerning wood processing as part of its expansion which was allegedly never considered by the legislature. There were some lawmakers instead of having direct conversations with that company and its ideas about expanding its business into new areas that could provide new training, new technologies as it relates tools, skills and manufacture opportunities, there was this opposition that Firestone did not have any agreements to tryout out into the wood processing. With a company dying from global economic downturn and wanting to branch out instead of closing its plant and laying off its employees that have worked for them over the years, it was the lawmakers that saw reasons to kill that expansion. All over the development economy, companies are eager and willing to train the employees into new jobs and technology in order to survive in a changing economy that brings new demands for training, skills and most importantly new jobs, new manufacturing jobs. But for someone lawmakers that thought they knew everything or that they saw an opportunity to get money from that company by any means necessary, their opposition to the company branching out on its own without paying a dime to them was a bad idea. Other companies are having and experiencing the problem , but the regime of the Anointed and Ordained One has no clue about how to deal with what they are facing. But the Speaker of the House of Representatives is counting on and reminding the Liberian people telling them about how law abiding they are in an economy that provides and produces nothing for them. Well Mr. Speaker, keep
    reminding them and keeping fooling yourself that you know the citizens as law abiding until things hit the fan and blow right into your face. The companies are struggling and no regime officials want to have a general economic discussion with them. For fear of letting the people to know that things as it relates to the economy are not working out as planned. And so the whole regime of the Anointed and Ordained One is in self denial about the economy.

  2. Stupid lawmaker…they still paying themselves huge amount of monies and perks from our taxes then he talking about provoking and troubling. The companies know your not serious…and they want their arses outta the country. darn fool

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