Monrovia — As Firestone Liberia says it is preparing to redundant 800 of its employees amid the country's already troubling economic situation, some Liberians are calling on the government to take action that will be a win-win for both the company and the workers.
Some say, the government should cut down taxes on Firestone for the company to revert their decision. Other say, the company should reduce the salary of workers to prevent such a huge cut-down.
FrontPage Africa has been getting the views of some Liberians on the streets of Monrovia.
Memunah Johnson, Resident of Duazon
"It so bad, I feel sorry for those people that are going to be layout by Firestone. Those people have families that are depending on them. There are several things that Firestone needs to do for those people to not lose their jobs.
First, let the government reduce the taxes on Firestone for the company to be able to maintain their workers. They should not let the workers go for good. Their families are depending on them.
Another one is, let Firestone see how best they can drop the salary and other benefits from the workers and not to drop them from their jobs completely. Those people for so long depended on Firestone for their children schooling and medical benefit.
Abayomi Tarplah Santi Jr., Member of the Veteran Bureau of Doe Community
"The news about Firestone laying out 800 workers is worrisome. If Firestone happens to let go of those people they will be strangulating the economy.
Looking at Firestone with the second highest number of employees and with our country in this economic crisis, the issue of laying out 800 will be dangerous for our already bad economy.
The government of Liberia should sit on the table and discuss with the Firestone authority to see how best they can solve the problem of those 800 workers that are about to be redundant.
Those people are Liberians and of course, I believe that the government does not want such amount of people to go out of jobs.
So, if the company can look at the issue of establishing a manufacturing company here in Liberia to turn the rubber into finish goods; I think the issue of redundant will not be the case. In that, Firestone will employ more people. I think that could be one of the measures that the company and the government need to look at."
Charles Roberts, Unity Party Partisan
"It is not a good sign for our country's economy. Despite I am from the opposition Unity Party, it is worrisome for such people to get out of jobs. Those who are about to be layout are Liberians and even people who are in the opposition need to work to survive. They need to be working because when people are jobless and you go to them to campaign to them you might likely meet violence people. So, it is not a good sign for our country's economy.
I would have recommended that the government place those that will be layout to other government ministries and agencies but you and myself know that the government is overloaded until in recently the Finance Minister announced that the government should not employ anyone again so there is no hope for them. It is risky, jobs insecurity is even risky than any other thing."
Jamel Kamara, SUP Stewart
"Looking at the economy, it is very much troublesome, because taking 800 people out of jobs bring so much fear in the already fragile country. Those people that will be taking out of jobs have families.
So, some people will not have the capacity to send their children to school and the medical care that the company was providing. It brings fear to our country at this time where the economy is faced with so many constraints.
Our past leaders make lots of mistakes. By right, before you sign an agreement with the company; you need to make sure that at least some of those materials that are going outside of the country should be manufactured here in Liberia. That enable more people to work and the issue of redundant will come at this time.
More people will get jobs and that could boost the economy of the country. Because if more people are employed they will be able to pay taxes and that will help the country a lot.
I am calling to the government to reduce taxes on Firestone for the company to revert their decision on laying out 800 workers. The number is very huge so if the government can reduce taxes on Firestone. I do not think the company will cut down such a huge number of workforce like that."
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