There have been significant improvements in the discussions held on Tuesday between the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) and the Russian-owned bauxite company, RUSAL, but there are some issues which are presently at a standstill.
This is according to President of the GBGWU, Lincoln Lewis, who told Inews that the most pressing matter is that of the 61 dismissed workers and the 30 displaced workers.
He stated that while the Union has proposed to have those workers reinstated, RUSAL wants them to be re-employed, and this is not acceptable since it would mean that the workers will have to receive new contracts and lose their accumulated benefits.
According to the veteran trade unionist, on the bright side, RUSAL and the GBGWU has agreed to commence negotiations for workers’ wages, salaries and other benefits 14 days after they resume work.
The workers were arbitrarily dismissed after they downed their tools in protest of a one percent increase to their salaries.
RUSAL has contended that the action was in breach of their contract.
When the Labour Department intervened, RUSAL had refused to recognise the Workers Union and so the matter was stalled for weeks.