Blog: Rubber

Prominent Environmental Lawyer speaks about Stop Firestone Campaign

While the current class action lawsuit against Firestone is still pending, the time has come to strengthen Liberia’s civil society. Brownell stated the implications of these cases are great – “when you take a company to court, you cause the country to believe in the spirit of the law.” One of the many challenges that exist is creating a trickle-down effect of information to the rubber plantation workers so that they have the educational tools to be empowered.

Responding to Bridgestone/Firestone

Firestone is correct that "the amount of work that each employee is expected to complete, as well as the conditions of that work, is established through negotiations between the company and FAWUL [the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia." In fact, FAWUL and the company are negotiating a new contract right now.  Consumers around the world who e-mailed Firestone are encouraging Firestone to use these negotiations as an opportunity to finally end the exploitative and unpopular system of transporting latex on the plantation.

We expect Firestone to continue to negotiate with the union in good faith.  We encourage the company management to take a leadership role in implementing safer and less burdensome systems for workers.

Firestone is Listening -- Keep up the action!

It's clear that Firestone is paying close attention to your messages!  However, they clearly refuse to respond to the specific issue of how their workers are forced to carry heavy loads in order to enrich the company.  This system of work is unacceptable and needs to end.  We must keep up our actions to show solidarity with workers in Liberia.  We've come so far in this campaign already, but we need to take this next important step forward.

Time for Bridgestone/Firestone to Play Fair!

In 2010, stepping onto Firestone's rubber plantation in Liberia is like being transported back centuries.  The majority of workers on the plantation are "rubber tappers" who collect raw latex from the rubber trees and pour them into buckets that weigh 75 pounds each.  The tappers carry two of the heavy buckets on each end of a stick on their backs for miles to a collection point where they are weighed and recorded to ensure that each rubber tapper meets his or her daily production quota.  It is tragically ironic that a company that produces tires refuses to provide trucks for workers to transport the heavy buckets of latex.  This type of work system is completely outdated and has been upgraded on most rubber plantations globally, for example in other major rubber-producing countries li

New DOL Report Lists Products Made Using Child or Forced Labor

On the same day that the Department of Labor went public with their new report, major chocolate and candy companies, who are members of the National Confectioners Association, congregated in Washington D.C in order to push their legislative agenda. Despite that 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced in West Africa, where child labor and slavery are rampant, little has been done by major chocolate corporations to end these abuses. Since 2001 ILRF has urged the chocolate industry to take responsibility for child labor in their chains of production, yet companies continue to purchase and reap profits from child exploitative cocoa.


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