In the News

Liberia’s May Day Marked by Strike at Firestone Tire Company

Voice of America

By Nico Colombant

As workers around the world mark May Day, in Liberia, a strike is ongoing at the rubber plantations of the Firestone tire company, highlighting long standing problems between the country's biggest private employer and its workforce. VOA's Nico Colombant has the story from Dakar, with additional reporting by Prince Collins in Monrovia.

Angry workers at Firestone have clashed several times with police during a strike now entering its second week.

A protest leader, Ida Collins, expressed her dismay.

Letter from Liberia

The Observer (UK)

By Zadie Smith

Liberia is a country mired in its past. But, as Zadie Smith discovers when she meets its traumatised boy soldiers, struggling rubber workers and children desperate to learn, it is taking its first tentative steps to a better future. In the second part of the Observer and Oxfam's 'Words in Action' initiative, the prize-winning writer finds hope amongst the heartbreak


Striking workers at Liberian rubber plantation clash with police

International Herald Tribune

HARBEL, Liberia: Striking workers at the Firestone Rubber plantation in the West African nation of Liberia clashed with police Friday, and at least six people were wounded, officials said.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 workers at the plantation, which is run by a subsidiary of Japan-based tire giant Bridgestone Corp. and is Liberia's largest employer, have been striking since Tuesday. They are demanding the removal of a top manager, Labor Minister Kofi Woods said.

Major clothing labels criticise Cambodian labour violence

Agence France Presse

Several international clothing manufacturers have demanded Cambodia investigate the recent murder of a top labour leader, saying swift justice was key to their continued presence in the country's key garment sector.

“We are quite concerned about what appears to be a pattern of violence against union leaders in the country,” said a letter received Wednesday from labels Eddie Bauer, Gap, H&M Hennes and Mauritz, Liz Claiborne and Phillips-Van Heusen... 

EPA Confirms Pollution At Firestone

Public Agenda

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says its investigation team sent to Margibi County to probe reports of pollution in the area has returned confirming the report.

According to the head of the EPA, Ben Donnie, his team reported certain level of pollution in the Farmington River and said there was also air pollution in the Firestone area.

Mr. Donnie told journalists that the air in the Firestone area contains the smell of ammonia which he said is dangerous to the eyes.

Panel condemns Wal-Mart's employee care

The Chronicle (Durham, NC)

One-stop shops like Wal-Mart and Target might seem like the best options for college students strapped for cash-but for employees, the low prices offered by such stores might come at a high cost.

Speakers from the Wal-Mart Food and Agricultural Workers Tour talked to students Monday night about the poor working conditions of farms and plants that make products for the superstore.

Several students said the presentation helped them appreciate the work that goes into the products they use every day...