Tim Newman, Campaigns Assistant, International Labor Rights Forum
Today (June 12th) is World Day Against Child Labor! This annual event was started by the International Labor Organization in 2002 to highlight the plight of the millions of children around the world who are exposed to the worst forms of child labor. This year's theme is "Education: The right response to child labor."
ILRF works on a number of campaigns to stop child labor. We have focused on cocoa, cotton, soccer balls and many other industries over the years. Today, we are putting a spotlight on Firestone's rubber plantation in Liberia where child labor is widespread.
We are asking people to call Bridgestone Americas CEO Mark Emkes (615-937-1000) and Firestone Natural Rubber Plantation CEO Dan Adomitis (317-575-7281) to tell them to stop child labor on their rubber plantation in Liberia.
For 82 years, Firestone has operated a rubber plantation in Liberia where there is widespread child labor, abuse of workers' rights and environmental destruction. Workers have an extremely high production quota they must meet every day or their low wages are halved -- which means they have to bring their children to work to meet their quota. After a long struggle, the workers on the plantation finally have democratic and independent union. The union is negotiating their new collective bargaining agreement with company management right NOW. The biggest demands for the workers is to switch from a task-based pay system to a living daily wage. Firestone can honor World Day Against Child Labor today by agreeing to end the quota system, but they need pressure from you!
So CALL Bridgestone Americas CEO Mark Emkes at 615-937-1000! Ask for Mark Emkes and say, "On World Day Against Child Labor, I want you to take action to end child labor on your rubber plantation in Liberia by switching from a quota system to a daily wage with a living salary." Then, call Dan Adomitis at the Firestone Natural Rubber Company at 317-575-7281 or 317-575-7000 and tell him the same thing.
Do you want to really turn up the heat on Firestone? Deliver this letter to your local Firestone Complete Auto Care Store (find your store here). Stay tuned in the coming weeks because we're about to launch a big, new exciting summer campaign!
PLUS, check out the BRAND NEW Stop Firestone website here. Let us know what you think about the campaign and how your calls went by contacting Tim Newman at tim.newman[at]ilrf.org or 202-347-4100.