Govt needs to probe bad practices of foreign employers – Trade Unions

Some trade unionists unite in protest against RUSAL.

Trade Unions are calling on the Guyana Government to look into the operations of foreign companies in the country, especially as it relates to the conditions under which locals have to work.

The call comes on the heels of over 90 workers being arbitrarily fired by the Russian-owned bauxite company, RUSAL.

“Employers must respect the right to collective bargaining, they must respect the rights for association, and they must have respect for the Union that is there to bargain for the workers,” insisted Coretta McDonald, the General Secretary of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU).

Her comments are in light of the assertions made by RUSAL officials who claim that they do not recognise the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) which represents the bauxite workers.

General Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), Seepaul Narine posited that the recent actions of the Bauxite Company of Guyana (BCGI) – RUISAL’s local subsidiary – to dismiss over 90 workers, without any regard to laws and conventions in Guyana must not be overlooked by the administration.

He pointed out that this company seems to be following a trend that other foreign enterprises in Guyana have set, over the last few years.

“An almost similar approach was embraced by the Malaysian-owned Demerara Timbers Limited (DTL), the DTL, in 2016 had moved to dismiss a number of workers after they took part in a protest exercise outside that Company’s Head office in Kingston, Georgetown…

“Also concerns being expressed in the media regarding employees employed with El Dorado Offshore (EDO), another foreign enterprise involved in the oil sector, who could be fired were they to disclose their working conditions.”

The GAWU General Secretary added that while it is not averse to foreign investment, it has justifiable concerns regarding the practices and ploys embraced by some foreign enterprises operating locally.


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