Tim Newman, Campaigns Assistant, International Labor Rights Forum
Check out this new video from the United Steelworkers and AFL-CIO about the Firestone workers in Liberia.
If you are in the DC area, keep reading about two opportunities to meet the Firestone union leaders THIS WEEK!
HONORING LIBERIAN LABOR LEADERS
Tuesday June 24th
6:00 - 8:30pm
KENDEJAH RESTAURANT & LOUNGE,
5828 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC
Kendejah Restaurant, The Coalition of Concerned Liberians, the Margibi County Association and the StopFirestone Coalition invite you to join us in honoring Liberia’s Premier leaders in the field of labor and human rights.
On Wednesday June 25th, Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia will be receiving an international human rights award from the AFL-CIO for their work on the Firestone plantation in Liberia. Present to receive the award will be Mr. Austin S. Natee, President of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) and Mr. Edwin B. Cisco, Secretary General of FAWUL Liberia's Minister of Labor Samuel Kofi Woodsand Ms. Oretha D. Garway, the Vice President of the Forestry, Logging and Industrial Workers Union of Liberia will also be present for the award ceremony.
We will take the occasion of their visit to spotlight their courageous struggle for justice for the workers of Firestone and the people of Liberia. Please join us for an evening of information and celebration! For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202 234-9382x232
TransAfrica Forum Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Foreign Policy Library presents a
Viewpoint Lecture Series Discussion with
Liberian Labor Leaders on Economic Justice and the Rights of Workers in Liberia
WHEN: Thursday, June 26, 2008; 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
WHERE: TransAfrica Forum, 1629 K Street NW, #1100, Washington, DC 20006 Join TransAfrica in welcoming:
- Mr. Austin S. Natee, the President of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia
- Mr. Edwin B. Cisco, Secretary General of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) and National Coordinator in Liberia for the Swedish Pan African Trade Union Education Project (PANAF) of the LO/TCO based in Sweden.
- Mr. David D. Sackoh, the Secretary General of the Forestry, Logging and Industrial Workers' Union of Liberia and the Director for Education and Information at the Liberia Labor Congress (LLC), the labor federation in Liberia.
- Ms. Oretha D. Garway, the Vice President of the Forestry, Logging and Industrial Workers Union of Liberia
The living and working conditions at the Firestone Rubber Plantation, one of the world’s largest rubber plantations, are brutal, with management routinely violating basic human rights. Rubber tappers work 14-hour days to meet impossible production quotas, which require them to tap 750 rubber trees and to accumulate 150 pounds of latex daily. Pay amounts to little more than $3 a day and a monthly 100-pound bag of subsidized rice if quotas are met. Tappers walk for miles with more than 75 pounds of rubber in metal buckets on their backs, and the company fails to provide them with basic safety equipment.
On July 7, 2007, for the first time in the company’s 82-year existence in Liberia, the more than 4,000 workers at the Firestone Rubber Plantation Company elected union leaders in a free and fair election. International observers, including representatives of the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Solidarity Center of the AFL-CIO monitored the election at the invitation of an Ad Hoc Election Commission created by the Liberian government. International civil society—trade unions, labor rights groups, environmental groups, think tanks, and Africanist organizations—supported FAWUL’s struggle to organize and support justice for Liberian Firestone workers in a true example of international solidarity.
TransAfrica Forum’s Viewpoint Lecture Series: Perspectives from Africa and the Diaspora undertakes in-depth examinations of contemporary issues integral to an informed appreciation for the political and socioeconomic fabric of Africa and the Diaspora. For more information call 202.223.1960 ext. 137 or email email@example.com.