MONROVIA, Liberia (Aug. 16) — Perhaps as early as this week, Liberia´s Supreme Court could decide whether a July 7 union election at the Bridgestone/Firestone natural rubber plantation near Harbel, Liberia, is valid.
More than 3,000 of the approximately 6,000 workers at the plantation voted to certify the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia – known as FAWUL — as their official bargaining agent. However, the General Agricultural and Allied Workers Union of Liberia, with which FAWUL is not affiliated, appealed the election to a lower Liberian court, which invalidated the results.
The United Steelworkers, which supports FAWUL, has publicly criticized BFS for not acknowledging FAWUL or agreeing to meet with its leaders.
A BFS spokeswoman said the company will take no action until the high court makes its decision, but it will negotiate with whichever union the court upholds.
"As soon as the dust clears, we will do the right thing," she said.