Guyana: Government orders assessment of RUSAL

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Guyana: Government orders assessment of RUSAL
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.
Raphael trotman

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 2, CMC – The Guyana government says it expects to receive by Tuesday a report on the technical and legal assessment of all the operations of the Russian-owned bauxite company, United Company Russian Aluminum (RUSAL) which is at the center of an industrial dispute after it dismissed nearly 100 workers earlier this week.

Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, has confirmed that he has ordered the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to carry out the assessment.

“I have ordered GGMC to conduct a technical and legal assessment of all of RUSAL’s operations,” said Trotman, adding that he hopes to get the report as early as next Tuesday.

“I’m hoping that I can get that report for presentation to His Excellency and other ministers on Tuesday” he said, adding that the government continues to look at legal and all other consequences as a result of the ongoing industrial dispute.

“Of either them [RUSAL] closing or we are closing them… we just can’t have the status quo continue”

Government is examining the future of the Russian bauxite company after it refused to reinstate 60 dismissed workers and fired another 30 this week.

RUSAl says any of the 61 workers who were dismissed after embarking upon strike action, would have to re-apply for their positions and that the company would sign a new labour contract with the workers.

The strike started as a result of the company’s one per cent salary increase offer which the workers protested calling for more. But the company said over the years it has offered 16 per cent salary increases even though its operations here were not profitable.

Earlier this week, Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally met RUSAL’s Director of Aluminum and Bauxite Department, Vladimir Permyakov and Personnel Manager, Mikhail Krupenin., and later described the decision to dismiss the workers as unreasonable.

“It is very clear that you do not want an amicable solution to this matter, because you have put on the table issues to the government of Guyana which says take it or leave. I believe that this is very unreasonable for you to do,” she told Permyakov.

Ally also held talks with the representatives from the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers’ Union updating them on the status of affairs and reaffirmed the government’s support for the workers

She said the government will not accept the conditions presented by RUSAL and confirmed that an examination of the company’s license is currently being discussed.

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