Oldendorff workers assured rights will be protected


  • task force meets with staff and management of company

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, June 15, 2018

Workers of Oldendorff Carriers were given assurances by the government task force that all benefits owed to them will be received as the company remains committed to winding down its operations by October 23.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes is leading the mixed-agency team which includes Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, the Chief Labour Officer, Members of Parliament and Labour Union representatives.

The task force was set up to look into the future of the Guyana Bauxite Company following US sanctions on Rusal Guyana’s parent company Russia Aluminium (RUSAL) in April.

Today, the team met with several Oldendorff workers at the New Amsterdam Stelling after what, Minister Broomes said, was a disappointing and disrespectful management meeting with General Manager Transhipment Projects, Ulf Henriksson.

Minister Broomes assured the employees that the government is working to ensure they are protected from the fall out of US sanctions. “Your rights will be protected. It has to be protected. There is no if and buts.,” she emphasised.

Some 200 employees are employed by Oldendorff.

Rusal Guyana is a subsidiary of RUSAL and a major shareholder in the Guyana Bauxite Company. Oldendorff is a contractor of Rusal Guyana.

The US sanctions prohibit persons or entities from doing business in US dollars with RUSAL. Henriksson said the company remains on track to wind down its operations in Guyana by October to meet sanction deadlines despite a petition by Rusal Guyana to be removed from the sanctions list.

Minister Broomes instructed Henriksson to begin working with the Labour Department to put contingencies in place.

Meanwhile, Minster Sharma told workers the government will ensure they are adequately compensated in accordance with the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act of 1997.

Henriksson said the company will adhere to the legislation.

Minister Broomes will be facilitating a meeting between the workers, Labour Department of the Ministry of Social Protection and Union representatives to better address workers’ concerns in the coming week.

By: Tiffny Rhodius.

Images: Kawise Wishart.