Date: Sat, 13 Sep 97 23:28:13 CDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Winkel)
Subject: ICFTU: 6 Liberian Firestone Workers Shot
/** labr.global: 199.0 **/
** Topic: 6 Liberian Firestone Workers Wounded **
** Written 10:58 AM Sep 12, 1997 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS (ICFTU)
Brussels, September 10, 1997 (ICFTU OnLine): At least six workers from the Firestone company in Liberia, on strike since Saturday, were wounded by bullets on Sunday when security forces intervened, reports the Agence France Presse. According to the AFP, soldiers from the West African peace-keeping force, ECOMOG, took part in the operation. The rubber plantation's 7,000 employees were demanding better social protection, improvements to their accommodation and working conditions, and the redeployment of some 8,000 former employees of the company.
According to radio reports, the government called in the security forces and the ECOMOG. The wounded were admitted to the Duside hospital, near to Harbel Firestone, about 45 km east of Monrovia, the capital.
The strikers also accused Firestone of closing nine of its 45 units to reduce staff.
The deputy Labour Minister, Emanuel Lomax, announced on Tuesday (9 September) the formation of a special committee to examine the dispute, in consultation with the trade unions and the Firestone management.
The US rubber and tyre company closed its operations in Liberia after the civil war broke out in December 1989. It resumed production in February 1996. The Harbel rubber plantation, covering a total surface area of 500,000 hectares, is the biggest in the world.