• Bridgestone Firestone is the world's largest tire producer and manufacturer.
• Multiple labor violations have been documented at Bridgestone Firestone’s rubber plants, which operate under sweatshop-like conditions.
• Child labor has been reported on the company's rubber plantations and Bridgestone Firestone has made no discernable progress on the issue.
• Visit Go Green to support companies with better human rights records.
-- Profile Updated 06/30/2010
About Bridgestone Firestone
Bridgestone Firestone is the American holding of Japanese-based Bridgestone Corporation, the largest tire maker in the world. It produces tires for most major car manufacturers, as well as off-road heavy equipment vehicles and aircrafts. The company also manufactures building materials, golf balls, conveyor belts, automotive and dredging hoses, marine fenders, oil booms, silt barriers, and switches. Bridgestone Corporation is headquartered in Tokyo, with business segments located around the globe. In 2006, Bridgestone's revenues topped $25 billion and the company had 123,727 employees worldwide and 2,300 stores in the U.S.
Tell the NFL to stop its foul play!
This year's Super Bowl Halftime show is sponsored by the Bridgestone Firestone tire company. For over 80 years, Firestone has exploited workers and the environment on its rubber plantation in Liberia. After a long campaign for justice, workers on the plantation finally signed their first contract negotiated by an independent and democratically elected union leadership in August 2008, but the company has not implemented many of the important improvements in the new contract.
Stop Firestone Campaign
Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC has operated a rubber plantation in Liberia since the country's independence in 1926. According to the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF), Bridgestone Firestone subjects workers to "the modern equivalent of slavery" and encourages adults to bring their children to help them meet daily rubber production quotas. The ILRF filed a class-action suit on behalf of 12 Liberian workers and their 23 children, who worked for Bridgestone Firestone in Harbel, Liberia. Terry Collingsworth of ILRF stated, "... the evidence of forced labor is so clear and Firestone owns and operates the plantation, so it can't foist it off on some offshore, foreign subsidiary..."
The situation violates international laws including ILO Conventions, American and Liberian labor law. Send a letter to Bridgestone/Firestone president Dan Adomitis to help end Firestone's child labor, exploitation, and environmental destruction in Liberia. Click on the URL below to take action.
There are no known affiliates associated with Bridgestone Firestone.
Contact Bridgestone Firestone
P. O. Box 7988
Chicago, IL 60680-9534 USA
The United Nations Mission in Liberia Human Rights and Protection Section published a report concerning the human rights situation in the nation’s rubber plants. “Human Rights in Liberia’s Rubber Plantations: Tapping into the Future” concentrated on five Liberian rubber plantations, representative of working conditions present in all plantations, one of which was Firestone. The key findings that resulted from these investigations were the following:
- Plantation workers were exposed to hazardous working conditions without adequate training or safety equipment.
- Environmental protection laws were largely disregarded, discharging dangerous agricultural waste products into local communities.
- Child labor was widely used on the plantations. Most children were unregistered and thus unable to benefit from free education and health care.
- Workers did not receive fair wages.
- Workers were denied the right to strike.
- Inadequate living conditions with poor sanitation, which frequently caused serious health conditions.
- The majority of workers were not represented by trade unions.
- The Government of Liberia imposed limited and vague obligations concerning the protection of individual human rights and communities that live and work on rubber plantations.
-- United Nations, 05/01/2006
Source URL: www.stopfirestone.org/liberiarubber.pdf
Workers at a million-acre, Liberian rubber plantation owned by Bridgestone Firestone staged a strike to demand improved living conditions and wages. The striking workers included 4,000 "casual workers" who tap the rubber trees for latex sap and 2,000 administrative and domestic staff. The labor conditions are such that children as young as seven are forced to help their parents fill production quotas. According to workers at the Harbel plantation, in order to get their pay of $3.38 per day, they must tap 650 trees. To meet this quota workers often have no choice but to resort to using their children’s unpaid labor.
-- Integrated Regional Informational Networks (IRIN), 02/10/2006
Source URL: www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=51654
Ethics and Governance
The United Nations and the government of Liberia named Firestone as one of three companies profiting from illegal rubber-tapping. The tire-making giant was said to have purchased rubber from plantations illegally occupied by ex-combatants of Liberia’s civil war. A UN official stated that tappers in these plantations, being beyond the reach of law, worked in “conditions of slavery.”
-- BBC News, 05/24/2006
Source URL: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5013830.stm
Health and Safety
Bridgestone issued a recall of 6.5 million tires after approximately 271 people were reported killed and hundreds more injured in accidents involving Firestone ATX and AT tires. The tires were largely used as original equipment on the Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer and Mazda Navajo SUVs. Bridgestone Firestone North has said that the company would contact owners of the remaining 200,000 defective tires that may still be in use.
-- AFX News Limited, 07/21/2006
Source URL: www.usgovinfo.about.com/blfirestone.htm