From Rubber & Plastics News
HARBEL, Liberia--Bridgestone/Firestone has negotiated a new contract with workers at its 240-square-mile natural rubber plantation near Harbel, and has started renegotiating its concession agreement with the Liberian government, according to Firestone Natural Rubber Co. President Dan Adomitis.
Gyude Bryant, chairman of the Liberian transitional government, is "totally committed toward working with Bridgestone/Firestone toward a new agreement," Adomitis said.
One of the biggest issues in negotiations will be a rubber industry rehabilitation fund to make sure both the plantation and small Liberian rubber farmers can undertake badly needed replantings of their Hevea trees; without this, Adomitis said, the Liberian rubber industry could collapse in 10 years. "People (in Liberia) are ready to get back to the business of building things, rather than destroying them," he said.