Min. Trotman calls for patience; urges speedy resolution of RUSAL standoff

─ The resolution is particularly for the workers who have been left at a disadvantage since the dispute commenced

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Amidst complaints by loggers affected by the blockage of the Berbice River by striking Russian Bauxite Company (RUSAL) workers Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman has issued a call for patience as efforts continue to resolve the RUSAL standoff.

“Right now, it’s really urgent the government and the union and the company try to expedite a resolution.  I believe we can safely say all are involved and all are being consumed by this and my word to the loggers is to hold with us for a short while. I can’t say a few hours or a few days but certainly not a few months we are pushing for a resolution,” the Natural Resource Minister said.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.

Minister Trotman further urged a speedy resolution to the impasse which has affected several sectors of the economy since its inception several weeks ago.

“The standoff has affected, many sectors government is not earning revenue from the shipment of bauxite and loggers have been affected, their employment, of course, is affected, and certainly at my level I am urging the Minister of Social Protection to try to get a resolution to this issue as a matter of urgency,” Trotman added

In addition, in a recent statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources commended the parties involved on the progress made to date regarding the issue involving RUSAL and its workers. The Ministry reiterated its support for the workers and urged that the matter be quickly concluded to the mutual benefit of all parties.

“The resolution is particularly for the workers who have been left at a disadvantage since the dispute commenced, however, it has also extended to beyond the bauxite mining sector and is now affecting the logging industry. There is disruption to the logging industry in the area regarding transportation of logs out of the area by the river. The ministry urges that the matter be resolved post haste,” the statement said.

Since dismissing some 60 workers from its Berbice River bauxite mines on Monday, 18 February 2019, there has been a standoff between the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU) and the Russian Bauxite Company (RUSAL) resulting in the Berbice river being blocked by disgruntled workers.

With government’s intervention, RUSAL agreed to recognise the GB&GWU and the two parties had their first bilateral meeting Friday last.

Kidackie Amsterdam.

Image: Department of Public Information.

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