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Labour Department threatens legal action against Bauxite firm, RUSAL over “disrespect”

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The Labour Department may soon be looking at legal actions against Bauxite company RUSAL over what is being described as disrespect to end an age old labour issue between that company and the Workers Union.

The Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) better known as RUSAL, failed to attend a meeting with the Ministry of Social Protection on Wednesday.

Minister with responsibility for the Labour Department, Keith Scott told the media that his ministry is concerned about the lack of respect shown by the foreign company. “WE are upset,” the Minister said as he reiterated that the Ministry of Social Protection will see that workers’ interests come first.

He said the only aim is to not take sides with either the company or the worker’s Union but simply put to rest the problems that have existed between the two parties since 2009.

He said the matter will be settled even if it means going down the legal road to the highest court.

Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU) , Lincoln Lewis raised the point that RUSAL’s current behaviour is consistent throughout the world where it has investments.

Lewis said, “It is a matter challenging the sovereignty of this country.”

In 2007, RUSAL entered an agreement with the then PPP/C government to start its Aroaima operations here. That agreement gave the government of Guyana control over 10 percent shares in the company, which produces over 2.2 million tonnes of bauxite annually.

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