There may be light at end of the tunnel for RUSAL workers-Minister Scott

There may be light at end of the tunnel for RUSAL workers-Minister Scott

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, December 09, 2016

As government continues to meet with representatives from the Russian Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI)/RUSAL to resolve labour issues, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for RUSAL workers.

This is according to Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott who, along with Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams met with the representatives from the Bauxite Company today at the Committee room of Parliament.

Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott

Minister Scott who is responsible for Labour told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the purpose of this meeting was to listen to the options put forward by the company and come up with solutions for a way forward.

The minister explained that efforts are being made to firstly have the workers’ union on board after which other issues including tax exempted overtime and dismissal of workers will be addressed.

Minister Scott said that the Bauxite Company has noted their preference for a new poll if possible and have agreed to meet with the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers’ Union (GBGWU) and “that opens the door for everything forward,” the Minister pointed out.

“At the moment, they did not to sign an agreement for workers to have a tax free allowance at this point with the union and government, so we have put that discussion further with the Minister of Finance, so there are some possible changes that will now take place,” Minister Scott noted.

One of the concerns of RUSAL, Minister Scott said, is that “they did not want a union and they are upset that their workers are not beneficiaries to the tax free overtime, but the laws of Guyana must be manifested.”

In 2009, 57 workers who were engaged in strike action for increased wages and improved working conditions were dismissed by the Bauxite Company. The GBGWU spoke out against this action.

Earlier in the year, Minister Scott met with the company, and subsequently the GBGWU, since it is Government’s role to facilitate amicable discussions between unions and employers.

Minister Scott said meetings will continue with the Bauxite Company to ensure that the workers get the best working conditions as possible.

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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