The Management of the Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) in Gibi District, Upper Margibi County has announced an indefinite halt to tapping operations and the closure of all departments associated with tapping operations, until further notice.
A press release issued by the SRC Management attributed the action, which went into action February 29, to the continuing sharp decline in the price of natural rubber on the international market.
The release said it has become necessary for the company to streamline its operations as a means of cushioning it against the financial and economic shock occasioned by the plummeting price of rubber which has shown no sign of abating.
Management further said as a result of the stoppage of all tapping operations, and the closure of the departments related to those operations, it is constrained to lay off 300 of its employees, which is nearly half of its entire work force.
It said it will maintain a skeleton staff to keep the company running for now until there is some reversal in the decline in the price of rubber on the international market.
The planned layoff exercise will affect all categories of employees within the company, some of whom are not directly connected to tapping operations.
Between 2000 and 2010, the price of rubber was US$2,850 per wet ton, but started plummeting by 2011 and currently stands at US$406 per wet ton, representing a decline of 86 percent in price.
The SRC is one of the leading rubber plantations in the country with a workforce of over 600.