The Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU) said today that now is not the time for silence from any of the nation’s politicians, specifically, Opposition Leader and former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, as it relates to the labour violations of the Russian led Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI).
In a statement to the press, the Union reminded that the company’s invitation to invest here as well as its violations of the nation’s labour laws started, and were given tacit support under the former Head of State.
It said, “But the time has come for a change in direction and for consciousness to trump pride. GB&GWU calls on him to stand with the nation in oneness in protection of our sovereignty, our national interest, and the rights of Guyanese workers. Failing to do so, Opposition Leader Jagdeo has to be mindful that his silence becomes indicative that there is PPP or at least his support for RUSAL’s lawlessness; a lack of consideration for Guyana’s national interest or that he is driven to action and struggle only in pursuit of executive power and nothing else matters.”
Moreover, GB&GWU said that the leaders of the various political parties also need to demonstrate the quality of leadership they would give to Guyana not when or if they are elected but now when the national interest is under threat from RUSAL’s violations.
“Guyanese workers need your involvement and protection now,” the Union stated.
Further to this, the Union said that it welcomes the visit last Friday to Aroiama by Ministers Amna Ally and Keith Scott, and other members of the Department of Labour to engage its representatives as well as the 61 dismissed workers of the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI). It noted however that swift follow-up action is needed.
The Union said, “The next phase must see swift action to give meaning to the public promises and commitments of Government made by Minister Ally and witnessed by this nation. While we commend the Minister, GB&GWU is not prepared to only accept the Minister’s call for respect of our laws, we hold her and Government accountable for ensuring the RUSAL management conforms to these without delay, failing which, there must be immediate consequences…”
It added, “This is important lest RUSAL takes the Minister’s words lightly. In order to achieve this, a meeting between the Union and BCGI management to determine Terms of Resumption is expected immediately. Further engagements to discuss other identified issues of industrial importance long overdue will then follow…”