For Wrongful Dismissal: Labor Rules Against Firestone

…Awards Over US$48,000 to former Employees

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 19, 2004

The Labor Ministry has brought the Firestone Plantation Company(FPC) down guilty for wrongfully dismissing two employees and awarded the said employees US$48,620.00; as Timothy T. Seaklon reports.

Our investigation proves that the two former employees, Tom Karmala and Nelson Barren were dismissed by Firestone last December using the infamous Labor Law 1508 Section 3,. which states that the employer has the right to hire or fire.

According to our investigation, Firestone dismissed the two employees without any justifiable reason but the 1508 Section 3, which many labor experts believe has been a major human rights issue in the country’s labor history.

Mr. Tom Karmala and Nelson Barren worked for the company for the period of 20 and 19 years respectively, but were abruptly fired without benefits on December 3, 2003.

The two through their legal counsel, Scott and Associate Law Firm filed their case at the Labor Ministry with Firestone being represented by the Sherman and Sherman Law Office.

After a thorough look into the matter, the labor commissioner assigned in Harbel, Mr. Abu Tucker brought the company down guilty for “wrongful dismissal”.

The Labor Ministry then ruled that Firestone pay Mr. Karmala who worked for a period of 20 years, 24 months salary and 4 months non-leave entitlement, totaling US$ 21,200.00.

The Labor Ministry also ruled that Firestone pay Mr. Barren who worked for 19 years, 24 months salary and 4 months non-leave entitlement, totaling US$ 23,760.00.

Mr. Karmala and Barren served as Operation Supervisor and Laboratory Supervisor respectively at the Firestone Hospital in Harbel prior to their dismissal on December 3, 2003.

Firestone had earlier agreed to pay the two men one month each for their service to the company, our investigation revealed.

Meanwhile, Firestone’s lawyer, the Sherman and Sherman Law Firm has taken the case to the Circuit Court in the City of Kakata, Margibi County, where the ruling of the Labor Commissioner would form the basis for the case.

During a visit to the Labor Commissioner’s office in Harbel, a source said his ruling is being forwarded to the court in Kakata, as our investigation continues.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.