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Plantation Workers Go on Strike – Reports

(Akron/Tire Review) News reports out of Monrovia, Liberia, say that some 3,000 workers at Bridgestone Corp’s natural rubber plantation there have gone on strike.

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"The strike is very serious. Production has come to a complete halt," a public relations spokesman with Firestone Plantation Co. told Reuters. "We have asked the government to intervene. We do not know why this is going on.’

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The strike apparently started last Friday among a few hundred workers and quickly spread. The strike is apparently about pay and living and work conditions at the 240-square-mile plantation, said reports. The plantation employs some 6,000 to 7,000 workers, but many of the workers and their families live on the grounds, as do thousands of other Liberians who do not work at the facility.

In recent months, the plantation has been under fire from labor rights groups and the African media over living and work conditions at the facility. Lawsuits filed in the U.S. late last year alleging that workers were mistreated.

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