By J. Yekeh F. Kwaytah
The House of Representatives has launched an inquest regarding the actual number of foreign personnel working with Firestone Liberia Inc. – a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas.
Firestone’s management is ordered to submit its full organizational structure for lawmakers to see the level of managerial jobs Liberians occupy, the House’s leadership said after a March 20 meeting. Lawmakers want to know the names, nationalities and job titles of people working with the company.
The goal is to ensure Firestone does not hire non- Liberian citizens for unskilled labor positions and that it is respectful of the top managerial staffing quota, Margibi County Representative Ivar Jones said.
Jones places his reliance on an employment clause, which stipulates ” least 50 percent of the most senior management levels will be held by Liberian citizens.”
Firestone Liberia employs only 17 non-Liberians, who have specific expertise and skills required by the business, the company said in a statement handed out to reporters.
Firestone has a Core team consisting of nine members, five of whom are Liberian citizens.
A senior team of 250 people are Managers, Superintendents and Supervisors. Over 93 percent of senior positions are held by Liberian citizens.
Operating the world’s largest natural rubber plantation in the West African since 1926, the company, is cutting investment and reducing workforce.
In March 2019, the company said it was laying off 800 Liberian employees or 13% of its work force due to “continued and unsustainable losses resulting from high overhead costs associated with the company’s concession agreement with the government of Liberia, low natural rubber production because of the country’s prolonged civil wars and continued low
global natural rubber prices.”