Liberia: Labor Minister Kollie Urges Firestone to Abandon Plan to Lay-Off 374 Workers

Monrovia — The Minster of Labor, Moses Y. Kollie, has warned the management of Firestone Liberia to discontinue its plan to redundant 374 employees for "unjustifiable reason".

According to Minister Kollie, the Management of Firestone Liberia communicated to the Ministry of Labor about its intent to redundant those workers on July 26, 2020 due to economic constraint which the company has not properly explained.

Minister Kollie said that it is seemingly unfortunate to see Firestone dismissed employees in the face of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic that has negatively plummeted the economy.

Minister Kollie said that because the company has not given proper clarification, Firestone is in violation of section 31. 4 A of the 'Decent Work Act.

The Act states that "the change of business or ownership shall not adversely affect the termed and condition of employment of worker who continue to be employed in such of business and their contracts of employment are deemed for all purposes to have continue unbroken".

Minister Kollie, however, revealed that the government still has opportunity for dialogue to find an alternative to the termination of workers.

"The reason for our decision is that, Firestone Liberia usually sublet unit, declared redundancy and it is not clear as to whether the authority to sublet is mentioned or written in the concession agreement between the government of Liberia and Firestone Liberia," Mr. Kollie said.

"The law is clear, if you intent to carry on redundancy for whatever reason must be properly articulated to the Ministry of Labor. Those to be redundant, they should be considered if it should be any new opportunities."

He said Firestone has not demonstrated what the law states, while calling on the company to hold "discussion to find a way forward."

"Firestone has not indicated whether the redundancy is result of reorganization, transfer, discontinuing or reduction in business," he said.

"Therefore, we cannot provide the guardian that the management firestone needs to affect the redundancy. Expect it is properly clarified," Minister Kollie said.

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