HARBEL, Liberia (May 17) — Bridgestone/Firestone refuted a United Nations report that alleges the company conducts poor labor practices at its natural rubber plantation in Liberia.
The company said the United Nations Mission in Liberia report on the human rights situation at the BFS and four other plantations NR plantations in that country is filled with inaccuracies and distortions. "It's not even close to being right," a BFS spokesman said.
Among other things, the UNMIL report details such violations on Liberian NR plantations as the use of child labor, subpar wages, widespread pollution and inadequate training and safety equipment for hazardous working conditions. BFS is facing a lawsuit from the International Labor Rights Fund in Indianapolis federal district court because of alleged poor labor conditions in Liberia.
Terry Collingsworth, a staff attorney for the ILRF, called the UN report "a beautiful thing," and said it proved the fund's contention that child labor is pervasive on Liberian rubber plantations.