On the anniversary of Liberia's Independence Day, the International Labor Rights Forum has released a new report about child labor and other labor rights abuses on a rubber plantation in Liberia owned by Firestone.
Forced child labor and other serious violations of internationally recognized (International Labor Organization) core labor standards continue at an eighty-three year old Firestone rubber plantation in Harbel, Liberia. Conditions at the facility have embroiled the company in a lawsuit pending in a U.S. federal court.
A brutal quota system for “rubber tappers” results in mostly male workers’ bringing their children to work to assist them in order to meet production goals. Attempts to organize a labor union and bargain collectively with the rubber giant have made slow progress as Firestone throws up major obstacles at every stage in the process. Workers have thus far been unable to exercise their collective bargaining rights and women are now also shouldering an increasing share of their husbands’ and childrens’ production quota burdens.
Full details can be found in the report available online here.