Russian/Guyanese mining company admits to labour breaches – Hamilton

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Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, has confirmed that Innovative Mining Incorporated, a medium scale mining joint venture operation between Russians and Guyanese, has admitted to committing several labour infractions and has promised to correct them.

Company executives were summoned to a meeting with the minister on Wednesday after several complaints were received by miners regarding the payment of wages, overtime and granting of leave.

Speaking with the News Room on Thursday, the Labour Minister explained that “the issue of the breach of labour laws – they acknowledged it because people were complaining that they are working 12 hours a day and they are not being paid overtime.”

According to the minister, the miners were only being paid $8,000 a day for their services. Now that the infraction has been confirmed, the Labour Department will be working with the company to ensure that it falls in conformity with the law.  If not, actions would soon follow.

When asked what the penalty is for committing such breaches to Guyana’s labour laws, the minister said “the fine might not be as substantial as it should be.”

Meanwhile, investigations into the assault on a cook employed at the company by a Russian security official is still ongoing.

A video of the incident surfaced last week on Facebook and showed a Russian national holding the cook in a chokehold.  The News Room understands the cook was exiting the compound and was asked to subject himself to a search, as is the practice at the site.

The News Room further understands that someone had tipped off security that the cook was smuggling gold, which was found in a bottle of what appeared to be skin cream.  The gold was later melted and weighed 11.3 grammes.

The apparent altercation took place when the cook reportedly refused to be searched.

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