Reuters reported Feb. 10 that the natural rubber plantation’s entire 6,000-person workforce remains off the job.
Late last week, there had been reports that government negotiators had succeeded in getting the striking workers back on the job. Workers reportedly had been seeking improved living conditions, education for their children, and a refund on wages withheld to pay for their residence at the facility. Most workers at the plantation live on-site.
Reuters’ latest report said that workers at the plantation, established near Monrovia, Liberia, by Harvey Firestone in 1926, earn $3.38 per day and are required to tap 650 trees per day. To meet the quota, tappers were forced to hire others or put their children to work, the report said.
According to reports, Bridgestone Corp., which owns the plantation, issued a directive that child labor would no longer be permitted on the plantation.