Minister of Social Protection Hon. Amna Ally and her team met the laid-off workers at the Kwakwani Recreational Centre on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
The company initially laid off 142 workers in January saying a fuel shortage had forced them to scale down operations. A week later they announced the dismissal of an additional 288 workers. The frustrated workers then blocked a section of the Berbice River at the Kwakwani riverfront.
Minister Ally was received by the workers and their relatives who used the meeting to express their frustration. She assured them that the government would not rest until the issue was resolved.
“I want to say to you this morning that you can be assured that the Department of Labour isn’t selling you out and the government is on your side, and like I said earlier, we have alternatives,” Minister Ally stated.
She also urged the workers to be patient and avoid altercations in the interim.
“So, one way or the other, whichever six months we have, we will make full use of it. And be assured that six months or no months, we will go to arbitration.”
Minister Ally also distributed several food hampers during her engagement with the workers.
The Department of Labour had called for the reinstatement of the laid-off workers at the last meeting with the RUSAL executives.