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Firestone Management, Workers Renew Commitment

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The Management of Firestone Liberia and the Firestone Agricultural Workers’ Union of Liberia (FAWUL) have renewed commitment to work together for the improvement and progress of the company and its employees.

In a dispatch from Harbel, Margibi County on 29 May 2013, the company said the two parties renewed their commitment on Tuesday, May 28 at the Firestone Staff Club. The statement said the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed is effective from 2013 to December, 2015. At the program were Representatives Ballah Zayzay, Stephen S. Kafi, Jr., shop stewards and managers, among others.

Firestone Liberia Employees Relations Manager Mrs. Winleta Aynn Henries Reeves described the Collective Bargaining Agreement as “a guiding document” that works in line with the Labor Law, and other policies in the interest of both parties.

Reeves stressed that the CBA was not only about what increment the employees will get, but contains other details of what management and the workers want for themselves. The document also covers other benefits that are important to management and the employees, Reeves said.

In remarks, the President and Managing Director of Firestone Liberia, Mr. Edmundo L. Garcia, said the signing of the CBA between management and FAWUL marked a new beginning and a new chapter in the history of the American-run company. He described the document as “a win-win agreement that will equally provide stability and benefits.”

At the ceremony, acting Labor Minister Neto Zarzar Lighe called on the parties to work towards the total compliance of the terms of the CBA, thanking the two sides for disagreeing to agree on the terms of the document without any confusion.

“We didn’t come in for arbitration and that you people were able to resolve your differences amicably; I mean that was very responsible on your part,” he said.

Minister Lighe then assured that the Labor Ministry will continue to cooperate with both parties in making sure that industrial harmony exists at all times within the concession area.

For his part, Liberia’s Labor Congress President Elitha T. Manning expressed happiness for the signing of the CBA, disclosing that her happiness was based on the fact that both parties settled on the terms of the agreement without the involvement of the Labor Ministry or the Liberia Labor Congress.

“This is what the Liberia Labor Congress is out for; we should make sure that we iron out our differences without the involvement of our next partner, which is the government,” said Madam Manning.

Meanwhile, FAWUL Secretary General Edwin B. Cisco has termed the signing ceremony as a new beginning and described it as a milestone in the history of the company.

Cisco pledged FAWUL’s unflinching support and loyalty to the long existing partnership between Firestone Liberia and the people of Liberia.  He assured that the union will continue to constructively engage management in the full implementation of the terms and conditions of the new CBA.

He urged his teammates to continue to work harder than before for the attainment of success for all by increasing productivity. Cisco expressed hope that there will be full compliance of the terms agreed upon in the agreement for the benefits of both parties.

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