Monrovia, Liberia: Firestone Liberia has announced that it will be laying off 800 employees due to financial instability in the company.
In a press release issued in Monrovia on Monday, Firestone which is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., said, the decision to reduce its workforce was a difficult one and it will affect about 13% of its total workforce as soon as the second quarter in the company’s operations.
“Headcount reductions will take place throughout the company’s operations, and include retirements, the discontinuation of certain work contracts and redundancies,” the release said.
The Company further said, the action is necessary because of “continued and unsustainable” losses which is a result of low rubber production because of the Liberian Civil Wars, drop in rubber prices on the world market and high overhead costs associated with the company’s Concession Agreement with the Government of Liberia.
Firestone says, it has been in close consultation with the Ministry of Labor and the Agricultural Argo-Processing and the Industrial Workers Union of Liberia (AAIWUL) to make sure that workers affected by the lay-off action get all necessary benefits and that the action is done in accordance with the labor laws of Liberia.
“Unfortunately, these measures alone will not restore Firestone Liberia to profitability. As a result, the company will continue to evaluate all aspects of its business to ensure long-term competitiveness and determine the best allocation of company resources to optimize our portfolio, processes and culture,” the release concluded.
The news about Firestone Lay-off process has sent shockwaves across the Liberian public as Firestone has been one of Liberia’s highest private employer and taxpayer. With an already struggling economy, the redundant action by Firestone Liberia will only put more strain on the Liberian economy.