Guyana Manganese Inc (GMI) workers bemoan living conditions, call for urgent intervention

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According to the Guyana Agricultural and
General Workers Union (GAWU), Workers of the Guyana Manganese Inc (GMI) are frustrated with their living conditions at the company’s Matthews Ridge location in the North West district. This comes on the heels of a number of alleged reports from workers. The works shared that in the midst of the COVID pandemic “proper sanitation is absent and despite their repeated pleas, it appeared to them, the company was not prepared meaningfully to address the situation”.

The also lamented the physical condition of the housing facilities which they shared required urgent repairs and rehabilitation to
bring it to an acceptable level.

According to GAWU, locals workers are housed in a particular section of the company’s compound. The workers claimed that the foreign nationals are housed separately. The Union understands from the workers that foreigners are afforded several amenities such as satellite television, washing machines, facilities for recreation, among other things, that are allegedly not extended to Guyanese. Additionally, they informed the Union that “whereas foreigners are provided with cleaning assistance, they are required to clean their own rooms. They explained as well that even a necessity such as internet access to communicate with their relatives is denied though the foreigners are allowed such access.”

Complaints were also lodged to GAWU about their NIS deductions. They told GAWU that though NIS deductions were made from their
wages/salaries they were unsure whether such deductions were remitted to the Scheme.

Against this backdrop, they called for immediate intervention.

In response, GAWU expressed that they were disturbed to learn of the reports from the workers of this foreign enterprise. They maintained that the stand firmly behind the workers of GMI.

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