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Firestone - Liberia takes stringent measures, cuts down workforce

Varflay Kamara/ Jos Garneo Cephas Sr.
Firestone Plantation, Liberia
Firestone Plantation, Liberia

HARBEL, LIBERIA – Firestone Liberia says direct pension payments for retirees and employees qualified for retirement is being made by the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP).

According to a release issued on March 18, 2019, Firestone – Liberia said: “The decision is in accordance with the Decent Work Act and that the retirees, after March 1, 2019 will receive pension benefits at NASSCORP pension rates”.

The release noted that Firestone will make up the balance to ensure retirees receive the maximum 40% pension amount in cases where retirees are not qualified.

The Company said the changes in its pension payment do not indicate that retirees have transitioned to a NASSCORP administered Program.

Firestone-Liberia also said it will continue to provide pension benefits to those retirees who are not qualified for NASSCORP. Meanwhile ,Firestone-Liberia has announced a reduction in its workforce by 13% beginning the Second Quarter of 2019.

The exercise, according to Firestone-Liberia,will be implemented through retirement, redundancy and the termination of certain work contracts. The Management's decision is due to continue, and unsustainable losses from high overhead costs associated with the company’s Concession Agreement with the Liberian government.  

A release said Firestone also blamed the decision on low natural rubber production; the Country’s prolonged Civil War and continued low global natural rubber prices.

Meanwhile, the Firestone Management says it is working closely with the Ministry of Labor and the Agricultural Agro-Processing and the Industrial Workers Union of Liberia (AAIWUL), to ensure the action is carried out in accordance with labor laws of the Country.

Despite the decision, Firestone said the measures are not enough to restore the company to profitability.


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