Gov’t examining jobs for Region 10 bauxite workers
-eyeing restarting industry in the Region
Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton has said the Government is examining employment options for workers in the bauxite industry who have been affected by the closure of the Russia Aluminum’s (RUSAL) operations here. The Government is also exploring the possibility of restarting the industry in Region Ten.
The Minister made this statement last Thursday during a Cabinet outreach to Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten).
He relayed that following a meeting last year between the Labour Ministry and RUSAL, the company was asked to submit a report to the Ministry of Natural Resources, which that Ministry is examining. Minister Hamilton also said that during that process, Oldendorff Carriers Guyana Incorporated ceased its operations here as well and shipped its major barge out of the country. These actions also led to unemployment.
While the Government would continue to have engagements on this matter, the Minister said: “For us, what we want is a recommencement of the bauxite operation, not necessarily with RUSAL, because our major concern is not RUSAL, it is the workers in Region Ten getting back to work.”
Minister Hamilton said he expects that the Natural Resources Ministry would continue to examine the matter closely even as preparations for Budget 2021 are ongoing.
“Once, I suspect, the Government has a good proposal of the situation, we will consider it, so that we can have a re-activation of the bauxite industry in this part of the country.”
In an interview with DPI in October, Minister Hamilton said nearly 600 persons lost their jobs when the company suspended its operations. At that time, he had said the most important issue for the Government was securing employment for workers.
RUSAL, founded in 2004, has a 90 per cent stake in Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) and possesses licences to develop Linden, Kwakwani and Ituni deposits in Guyana. The Government owns the remaining stake in the company.