Government not sleeping on RUSAL matter


  • taskforce meets for the first time

DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 8, 2018

The first RUSAL taskforce meeting was held to discuss how the administration will handle the repercussions of recent US government sanctions against the company, that employs over 500 Guyanese.

RUSAL, one of the largest aluminium producers in the world, has a large bauxite operation based in Linden and Berbice.

The decision was taken by Cabinet to establish the body to track and monitor the situation. The seven-member task-force headed by Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, will address on-going labour concerns and avert any potential crisis.

Minister Broomes said, “Going forward, we will do what needs to be done.”  She explained that the taskforce will be guided by the words of President David Granger, “Treat our people right and obey our laws.”

Other members of the task force include Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union, Lincoln Lewis, Member of Parliament, Audwin Rutherford, Ministry of Social Protection’s Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle, Member of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira and Secretary Alicia James.

It was decided that the group will visit the operation sites in Berbice and Linden in the coming weeks to speak with the employees and assess the work environment. The group will report directly to Cabinet on the way forward.

The decision was also made to have the contract, inked in 2010 under the previous administration, thoroughly examined. Minister Broomes added that the government has already begun talks with neighbouring countries on the way forward for the bauxite industry.

The taskforce plans to meet fortnightly.

By: Zanneel Williams.

Images: Shane Clement.