by Zena Henry
Bauxite workers attached to the Chinese-owned bauxite company, Bosai Minerals, are demanding an explanation from the company about why it pland to fire almost 50 staffers. Scores of workers, mainly from the company’s mining pits, armed themselves with placards this morning protesting the stated retrenchment.
According to the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union’s Leslie Gonsalves, workers were informed by the bauxite company that they would be laid off. He said the business’ performance was highlighted, but the workers said what they have been seeing is different from what they are told and thus wanted the company to provide the proof.
Head of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) Kenneth Joseph told Demerara Waves Thursday August 6 that exactly 47 workers are at risk of losing their jobs while a further reduction in the number of workers could be possible.
He said the company has explained that there is insufficient market for the bauxite and shipments have been low. Apart from that, he said the company explained a slow down in sales and highlighted that the mouth of the Demerara River is too shallow for big boats to enter to collect the bauxite. This forces the company to use smaller boats to take out the mineral, thus incurring further cost.
The workers on the other hand say that they see ships still coming to load he bauxite and are demanding that the company provide figures to show the slow business that warrants their possible dismissals.
While Joseph said that the company’s explanation seems logical, the matter will be brought before the Chief Labour Officer for consideration and this will determine the next move by both sides.