United Company RUSAL, the world’s second largest aluminium company, has pulled the plug on its Guyana operations, relieving over 300 workers of their duties.
The company cited industrial unrest and damage to property, as reasons for, what is believed to be, the temporary shut down of the company’s operations in Guyana.
The Guyanese government and the bauxite company had been in talks for close to two weeks following an earlier lay off of 288 workers.
It was reported that the workers had been laid off because the company did not get duty-free fuel concessions.
As a result of the layoffs, it appears that the workers may have taken industrial action, blocking a river and setting fire to company equipment.
“As a result of serious illegitimate actions that have gone beyond the control of government and enforcement agencies, including arson of the electricity pylon basement and other corporate property, and blocking of the river, RUSAL considers it prudent to suspend and mothball operations of Bauxite Company of Guyana (BCGI),” the company said in a release.
The company further noted all of its foreign employees have been relocated, citing “security and safety” concerns.
Late last year, the JISCO/Alpart alumina plant, also controlled by RUSAL, had laid off hundreds of casual workers in Jamaica.
RUSAL owns 90% of the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI).