Along with the rest of the world, the rubber industry is mobilizing to aid relief efforts in tsunami-ravaged countries in the Indian Ocean basin.
As of Jan. 5, rubber product manufacturers and suppliers who had announced their plans to aid the region included Goodyear, Group Michelin, Bridgestone Corp., Dow Chemical Co., DuPont Co., Trelleborg A.B., BASF A.G., Continental A.G., Cardinal Health Inc., BarrierMed Inc. and Ansell Ltd.
Bridgestone in Tokyo said it had contributed about $900,000 to the Japan Red Cross to aid tsunami victims, and that its subsidiaries in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and India would make separate contributions to local relief efforts.
Michelin is contributing $2 million to the relief efforts. The company said it will give part of the money to non-government aid organizations, and the rest to the Thai government.
Goodyear said it had provided its employees with information on how to contribute to the relief efforts, with about $15,000 raised so far in Malaysia and $30,000 in Indonesia. All Goodyear-brand outlets and dealers in those countries will hold a one-day tire sale with all proceeds going to aid tsunami victims, a spokesman for the Akron-based company said. Goodyear employees in India voluntarily are contributing one day's wages to the Red Cross and the Prime Minister's relief fund, with the company matching those funds, he said. In Thailand, Goodyear employees have donated money, blood and clothing.
Swedish industrial tire maker Trelleborg has allocated $300,000 for relief efforts on Sri Lanka, where it operates two manufacturing facilities. It has given $15,000 each to the Red Cross and Save the Children, as well as food, clothing and medicine to disaster victims, the company said.
Continental A.G. is contributing $500,000, and said it is conferring with aid organizations on whether a portion of the amount should be contributed in vital products, including off-road tires made by Conti in Malaysia or 300,000-liter fuel tanks made by ContiTech A.G.
The joint owner of the industrial tire maker Solideal, which operates a tire plant in Sri Lanka, has helped set up an aid fund to help villagers on that island nation who were affected by the tsunami.
The organization, Adoptsrilanka.com, is set up specifically to help the people of these villages, in an effort to complement international and government relief efforts already under way.
Pierre Pringiers, a Belgian national who is joint owner of Solideal-which does business in Sri Lanka as Loadstar Pvt. Ltd.-teamed up with a Sri Lankan food producer and a hotel/villa owner to set up the fund. The group promotes itself as having intimate knowledge of the local situation and the energy, contacts and motivation to put help quickly where it is needed.
Loadstar is owned jointly by Mr. Pringiers and the Jinasena family of Sri Lanka. The Web site states the fund has raised $300,000 in aid to date.