Rusal sanctions to be lifted, BCGI workers jobs not in jeopardy – Ministry of Natural Resources pleased with developments
The Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Natural Resources are cautiously optimistic, and happy, with this recent development of the matter of the US Government sanctions instituted against Rusal, heading towards resolution; thus, further ensuring that the jobs of the local workforce will not be in jeopardy. The Ministry has been monitoring this unfolding saga for several months, and making necessary interventions, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has provided quiet diplomatic support, and is pleased that following a series of extensions that led to the postponement of the enforcement of the sanctions, a permanent and favourable resolution is in sight.
As the Ministry continues to ensure that bauxite is mined and shipped to the benefit of workers and their families, and by extension, the national economy, the Ministry reinforces the fact that the Ministry of Social Protection, charged by the President, and directed by the Cabinet, will be responsible for addressing the ongoing, and future, labour issues and guard workers’ rights.
Rusal owns 90% of the Aroaima, Berbice-based Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc (BCGI). It employs over 500 persons at its operations on the Berbice River between Kwakwani and Linden with the majority being Guyanese. These workers have continuously expressed their concern about the impact of these sanctions on the company and them. In a statement from the company on Thursday, it maintained that it “will do everything necessary to return the company to regular working conditions”.
In April 2018, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on billionaire Rusal majority shareholder, Oleg Deripaska, aluminum giant United Co. Rusal, and other companies he owns shares, citing “malign activities”. This has since promoted turmoil in global aluminum markets, seeing prices elevating to as much as 20%.
The agreement reached by the parties outline that sanctions on the company would only be lifted if Mr. Deripaska would significantly lower his stake in the company, which, it is reported, has been agreed.
According to official reports, the US Treasury Department believes that companies in which Mr. Deripaska owns shares, have committed to significantly diminish ownership