-Claim production was not affected by the pandemic
Workers attached to the Bosai Minerals Group Guyana (BMGG), are currently striking over a decision made by the company to provide a 5.5 percent salary increase for 2021 and 6.5 percent for 2022. Workers’ representative of the Guyana Bauxite & General Workers’ Union, Mr. Whitney Graham, told INFO 10, that on Wednesday afternoon, a negotiation meeting ended in deadlock, as Management of the company refuses to meet the workers’ call for an increase of eight percent.
This resulted in scores of workers downing tools and protesting in front of the main entrance of the company’s Mackenzie Bauxite Pant. “The union is not settling for less that eight percent, we are also protesting against the snack allowance and the night premium,” Graham told INFO 10.
Workers speaking under anonymity, said they are dissatisfied with the way management is handling the wage negotiation. Cost of living gone up by 14 percent, car fare raise, gas price keep jumping, throughout this pandemic, we worked through, we have to buy our own respirator and PPE gears, management is not showing no appreciation for the workers,” one employee said.
“Every year for us to reach an agreement for salary increase, we have to always strike, management claiming they are not making money and that is not true, throughout the pandemic, production kept going, ships keep coming and so we are not accepting any reason that we are in a pandemic because BOSAI was not affected,” another employee said.
Relative to infractions that the Government of Guyana requested the company to resolve in three months, one being changing casual workers status employed over two years to permanent, the workers claim this has not been fixed. In addition to the percentage increase in wages, workers are also dissatisfied with snack allowance and night premium rates put forth by the company. In a correspondence sent to workers, Management of the company blamed the economic hardships brought on by the pandemic for not being able to give a larger increase and explained that the company is currently in survival mode.
Workers plan to continue the strike, until negotiations are open to their favour.