Wednesday, January 30, 2008

STOP FIRESTONE COALITION

SUPERBOWL HALFTIME SPONSOR BRIDGESTONE FIRESTONE USES CHILD LABOR,

ABUSES WORKERS AND ENVIRONMENT IN LIBERIA

Stop Firestone Coalition Decries Conditions on Tire Company's Rubber Plantation


This Sunday, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire (BFNT) will enjoy the media spotlight as the title sponsor of the Super Bowl XLII halftime show featuring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers while workers on the company's rubber plantation in Liberia continue to be exploited. Since 1926, Bridgestone Firestone has operated the world's largest rubber plantation in Harbel, Liberia where there is child labor, widespread abuse of workers' rights and environmental damage. Workers on the plantation earn just $3.19 per day.


The Stop Firestone Coalition, which includes both U.S. and Liberia-based human rights, labor, environmental and Africa-focused organizations, calls on Bridgestone Firestone to stop the exploitation of workers and the environment on their plantation in Liberia and to negotiate a fair collective bargaining agreement with the newly elected union leaders on the plantation. The NFL should not be involved in a marketing partnership with Bridgestone Firestone until the company stops using child labor and ignoring international labor standards. The sponsorship agreement between the NFL and Bridgestone Firestone will also include the 2009 Super Bowl halftime show.


Alfred Brownell, Director of Liberia-based Green Advocates said, "The cost of sponsoring the Super Bowl would go a long way to fix the problems on Firestone's plantations in Liberia."


Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus, a project of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Policy Studies, said, "NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must not allow sponsorship from a corporation linked to child labor and destruction of the environment. While it may be late for Super Bowl XLII, Firestone's deal for next year's game must be revoked."


Bama Athreya, Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum in the U.S. said, "The NFL's partnership with a company that is known to use abusive child labor stands in stark contrast to their charitable commitment to youth in the U.S. Instead of purely focusing on public relations, Bridgestone Firestone should make a concrete investment in making sure conditions on their rubber plantation are in line with international labor standards."

The company is also the target of a lawsuit filed by International Rights Advocates, which is moving forward on child labor claims in the U.S. District Court in the Southern district of Indiana, Indianapolis division.


The Stop Firestone coalition is a coalition of U.S. and Liberian-based human rights, labor, environmental and Africa-focused organizations working to hold Firestone accountable for its 82 years of exploitation of Liberia. For more information, please visit: www.StopFirestone.org.

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Emily Schwartz Greco

Media Director

Foreign Policy In Focus www.fpif.org

Institute for Policy Studies www.ips-dc.org


3 comments:

People Power Granny said...

Good post. Check out mine at http://peoplepowergranny.blogspot.com. I also take on Bridgestone Firestone and much else that is wrong with the Super Bowl.

Darvin said...

Hi. Nice blog. However, there is nothing good to say about Firestone. They kept me waiting three hours to see why the red brake light would not go off the dash. They repaired in half an hour, and let me drive out in traffic with the same problem we paid them to fix. Firestone has collected more than $1,500 from me in the past 6 months for repair and they show no concern for cost, time or defective service. Do not go there. Check out other complaints about the company on this great site www.pissedconsumer.com.

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