Firestone = child labour

National Day of Action on Liberia’s Independence Day Urges Tire Giant to
End Child Labor and Improve Conditions on Liberian Rubber Plantation

To mark Liberia’s Independence Day, Liberian-Americans and concerned consumers from 36 states are joining Friends of the Earth, International Labor Rights Fund, Institute for Policy Studies, TransAfrica Forum and other members of the Stop Firestone Coalition in telling Firestone that “80 years of exploitation is enough.”

“For 80 years the people and environment of Liberia have been abused,” said Emira Woods, a Liberian-American and co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. “It’s an outrage. Such an American icon must be a more responsible corporate citizen.”

“On the Firestone rubber plantation, instead of camp or school, children endure long summers of forced labor. Children wake up each day at 4:30 am to ‘help’ their parents tap rubber trees, spray pesticides, and haul heavy buckets of rubber up to two miles each day,” said Bama Athreya, director of the International Labor Rights Fund. “Children belong in school, not working the plantation.”

The Stop Firestone Coalition is additionally concerned that environmental damage caused by the use of harmful chemicals and the untreated run-off from Firestone’s operations into adjacent rivers is having health implications on communities around the plantation. “Kids on the plantation drink, bathe and swim in the Farmington River while watching the Firestone factory dump its waste on the opposite river banks,” said Elizabeth Bast, international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Firestone’s tradition of exploitation has endured far too long.”

LINKS

A detailed list of the coalition’s demands of Firestone is available at “Stop Firestone”
Friends of the Earth

International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF)

Institute for Policy Studies
TransAfrica Forum