BELEAGUERED BY ADVOCACIES and activism justifiably seeking to create harmonious industrial relations between and amongst Firestone-Liberia management, the Firestone Agricultural Workers' Union (FAWUL) and the Government of Liberia (GOL), specifically during the tenure of former President Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor and current President Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the decades, the enabling environment currently obtaining at the plantation can unarguably be considered appreciably improved as compared to yester-years and quite contributory to sustenance of the hard-earned peace and democracy restored to the Republic of Liberia.
WHILST NEGOTIATIONS LEADING to the signing of collective bargaining agreements have had to serve as appropriate medium in stabilizing situations at the oldest rubber plantations in the country, with the latest entered into on June 28, 2010 and expected to end in December 2012, improved systems are being vigorously embarked upon by the management of Firestone-Liberia, prominently involving housing, health, education, transportation and, more importantly, communication.
THE FACT THAT Firestone-Liberia management has allowed a commercially-run Union-run radio station, along with a community-based that may now consider itself in competition with a non-commercial Voice of Firestone (VOF), the recent in many decades after Radio LAMCO that was owned and operated by that mining company prior to the civil crisis, pre-supposes frantic attempts by Firestone-Liberia to create an environment in which all citizens would see themselves as exercising Article 15 of the Liberian constitution allowing freedom of the press, expression and opinion, although with full adherence to corporate policies that seek to equally guide the process.
CONSTRUED IN THE studies of organized labor and the media in which inflation, productivity, the quality of life on and off the job are very essential, with international trade strongly influenced by business and unions, it cannot ever be dismissed that union activities in the political arena --- sometimes in conjunction with business and sometimes in opposition to business --- serve as powerful influence on the government's role in the economy.
CURRENTLY WITH A little over 7,000 employees whose contribution of taxes to government is enormous, in spite other corporate obligations that immensely have a deep drop in its national coffers on taxes, it would certainly prove total disservice to Firestone-Liberia were individual Liberians to continue to heap unnecessary charges and influences over its management as means to proving that which cannot be legally proven.
YESTER-YEARS, IT BECAME the problem of former Liberia's President Dr. Darkpanah Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor, once a student of the Firestone School System and through whose influence workers, through thorough negotiations with the Firestone management, were able to begin partially receiving remunerations in United States and Liberian dollars, in spite the historic involvement of his family members into the very productive activities of then the Firestone Plantations Company that began operations in Liberia since 1926.
HER EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT Ellen Johnson Sirleaf however proving the highly unchallenging “check,” in spite the melodramatic events presupposing challenges to her dynamic leadership in contesting the 2011 Presidential election, appearing as if an early duration would want to prove medium or long-term without the basic characteristics evolving from deceptive advertising that brings about deviant popularity at the extreme detriment of the “Queen's Language,” the scenario is no different from what can best be classified as palma non sine pulvere.
VERY HEALTHY AS the dispensation has allowed, that even elements who once attached themselves to systems that became highly obstructive to the criminal justice system now pretending to prove themselves nationalistic and patriotic, with many Liberians now pointing to the Cape Sierra affairs in Sierra Leone during the 1990s in which some presidential aspirants became totally submerged, where then comes the challenges against President Sir leaf who has already made an unprecedented achievement in the life of the Liberian nation?
TOO EARLY TO suggest who may hold or maintain the helm of power of the Liberian nation, come 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections, with propagandistic postures cleverly being presented by both the ruling and opposition, practical achievements impacting lives of the vast majority present themselves as substantial basis upon which Liberians should be able to cast their votes on account of what has been delivered and not what will be delivered when voted into public office.
LONG SAID BY the late 19th President of the Republic of Liberia, the Rev. Dr. William Richard Tolbert, Jr., on January 5, 1976, that “…we believe that Africans must no longer be made instruments of death within their own palm groves of labor,” Firestone-Liberia could just be threading the true path by the enabling environment being created throughout its operational areas for its hardworking and understanding staff, employees and workers of its many departments.
WE APPLAUD MR. Charles E. Stuart, President of Firestone-Liberia, along with other able staff including FAWUL's Secretary-General Edwin Cisco, Industrial Relations Manager J. Feay Roberts, Public Relations Manager Rufus Karmorh and Mr. Carlos W. Smith, Jr. of the Community Relations Department, among many others, for the excellent relations being created through a tripartite arrangement in keeping the company more responsive to the growing needs of its employees as icon in paving the way to industrial growth and development particularly within the rubber sector of Liberia.