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Firestone Strike Ended, Or Did It?

(Akron/Tire Review) Some news reports from western Africa indicate that the strike which has halted production at Firestone Plantations Co. for a week has ended, albeit temporarily.

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Workers began returning to work Feb. 9, said those reports.

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Other reports, however, paint a different picture, and claim the strike continues, and that angry union workers took over the offices of the Firestone Agriculture Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL), placed a lock on the front door and held a meeting to change the union’s leadership.

Reports of the strike’s end say the strike allegedly ended after Liberian government negotiators met with both sides earlier in the week. “The strike was provisionally called off. The workers have agreed to resume work after my intervention along with some other officials,” Kofi Woods, the country’s labor minister-designate, told FrontPageAfrica.com. “Their trust in me made this possible. We will commence full scale negotiations with them while work resumes.”

AND West Africa, meanwhile, reported that workers remained on strike and have called for the “personal intervention” of recently elected President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
 
"Despite appeals from Labor Minister-designate Kofi Woods, the leadership of the parent union, the General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia and the Margibi Legislative Caucus, the workers have refused to return to work,” Jean F. Stewart, president of FAWUL told AND West Africa.

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