A staff at Firestone Liberia shows Daily Observer’s Publisher, Kenneth Y. Best, some finished products produced at the Firestone rubber wood factory.Authorities at the Firestone Rubber Company in Firestone recently laid off 76 of its workers due to what it calls losses at its Rubber Wood Factory and admits a plan to shut it down anytime soon.Recently, Margibi County District #1 Representative Tibelrosa S. Tarponweh visited Division #16 in Firestone on a call from a group of downsized employees at the Rubber Wood Factory. The aggrieved workers complained that their loss of employment has caused hundreds of family members and relatives to go hungry and their children may not continue their education due to their lack of capacity to pay their fees should they leave the dwelling places of the company.The spokesperson of the redundant workers, Vadimani Kollie, said Firestone has not given them what they deserve even though the company has asked them to stop working. He expressed concern over his children and those of his fellow workers.In an attempt to seek some help in favor of residents of Gazon Town, Firestone Division #16, Representative Tarponweh said his quest is that the government should buy pieces of Firestone furniture in order to allow the company to make money and keep the workers. “I understand what the company is going through but I am also worried about the aftermath of its (Firestone’s) decision leading to the reduction of manpower,” he said. He added that he has consulted with Margibi Senator Oscar Cooper who also has expressed interest in seeing to it that Firestone reconsiders its decision and call back the workers it has laid off.He expressed the hope that the government does business with Firestone by buying the different set of furniture produced in order to allow the company to keep residents in the area and others who have migrated there in search of livelihood to remain at work.Firestone Liberia’s outgoing general manager and chief executive officer, Eduardo Garcia, said business is for profit-making, but when conditions are so unfavorable that challenge a business against its progress and longevity, the wise thing to do is to close the business down.Stockpiles of Processed Firestone rubberwood, which the company says has sat in the factory without buyers for over a year.Treated wood as well as furniture for households, schools and offices, are produced at the Rubber Wood Factory, and sold in the country.Garcia told the Daily Observer recently that there appears to be no remedy to challenges the business was encountering, even if the government should come in to do business with his company.“We were in a meeting recently with the Representative of this district where we clearly made our concern known that we cannot continue this business, while there is no profit,” he said.Mr. Garcia said that the recent laying off of workers at the factory was predicated upon the losses his company continues to experience, which poses a serious challenge in meeting payroll requirements.He said due to lots of financial constraints, the company is indebted in the sum of over U$200 million.“People think all is well with Firestone-Liberia, but it is not so. We are seriously challenged with making more money due to low prices of rubber on the world market. We don’t decide the price of rubber but Singapore, and another important thing the public should know is that Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, and Ivory Coast are among other high natural rubber producing countries that have greater advantages than us,” Garcia said.He added that while Liberians’ desire for Firestone to begin manufacturing of rubber products in the country is good, what they need to know is that the cost of manufacturing of rubber materials in the country is too high.“While is true that we want more Liberians to work with our company, the conditions on the ground are not favorable for us to venture into manufacturing. We would have to import everything we need for the manufacturing, and getting quality equipment from overseas to Liberia is nothing to joke about,” Garcia said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
SAN BERNARDINO – The emergence of one player and the re-emergence of another paved the way for Cal State San Bernardino Friday as the Coyotes slipped past Dominguez Hills 84-75 at Coussoulis Arena. Senior guard Prentice Harris tallied 21 points and senior wing Yoseph Yaisrael added a career-high 19 to spark Cal State (19-5, 15-4), ranked No. 16 nationally and No. 2 in the West Region. “When we can knock down those shots it opens everything up,” Harris said. “They look at us, now there are driving lines for other guys. It adds another whole dimension to the offense.” One disturbing trend continued for the Coyotes, however, as Oliver’s squad has struggled to close out the first half and start the second. The Coyotes led by as many as 11 in the first half, that lead coming on a 3-pointer by Harris that made it 33-22. They still had a double-digit lead with 1:03 left in the half at 42-32, but then gave up five straight points and led only at the break. The Coyotes then missed five of their first six shots from the field to start the second half, with a 3-pointer by Yaisrael that upped the lead to 46-42 being the only made basket. “Those guys really carried us, especially in the first half,” Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver said. “They are seniors, so they’re guys that have been in our system the longest. That’s really what you like to see from them in a big game.” That duo set the stage with their shooting prowess. Harris scored 14 in the first half and Yaisrael added 11, going a combined 7-for-9 from 3-point range. Ivan Johnson added eight before getting into foul trouble, benefitting inside from the attention defenders had to pay to the perimeter. The Coyotes led by three at 53-50 nine minutes into the half. An 8-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers by Chet Johnson and Yasirael, increased the margin to 11. It got interesting again late as Cal State led 71-69 with 2:45 left. Marlon Pierce knocked down a 3 to stretch the lead back to five. Yaisrael then hit two free throws and Harris added four in a row to put the game out of reach. The Coyotes shot 42.4 percent (28-for-66) from the field. They actually fared better from long distance, hitting 13-of-26 with five players factoring into that total. Ivan Johnson and Pierce also finished in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Chet Johnson had a solid all-around game with nine points, a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. With three games left, the Coyotes trail CCAA frontrunner Humboldt State by one game. Tonight they host UC San Diego, a team they lost to 69-63 in January. 42-37 WOMEN Dominguez Hills 56, Cal State S.B. 38 The Coyotes shot just 27.3 percent (15-for-55) from the field and lost to Dominguez Hills 56-38, damaging their playoff hopes. The Coyotes (16-8, 12-7) are No.7 in the region, with the top eight making the playoffs. Dominguez Hills (13-10, 10-9), which is ninth, could go ahead of the Coyotes in next week’s poll. Junior center Vanessa Wilt totaled 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while freshman guard Krystal Urzua had 10 points and three assists. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!