HARBEL, Liberia—Firestone Natural Rubber Co. has announced plans to reduce its work force by 13 percent in Liberia by the second quarter of 2019.
The indirect subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Inc. said the decision will affect about 800 employees and will include the elimination of positions due to retirement, discontinuation of contracts and redundancies.
A number of factors are driving the reduction in force, Firestone Natural Rubber said, including "continued and unsustainable losses due to high overhead costs associated with the company's Concession Agreement with the Government of Liberia." Other factors include prolonged civil wars on production and low rubber prices.
"Unfortunately, these measures alone will not be enough to restore Firestone Liberia to profitability," Firestone Natural Rubber said in a statement regarding the cuts. "As a result, the company will continue to evaluate all aspects of its business to ensure long-term competitiveness and determine the best allocation of company resources to optimize our portfolio, processes and culture."