Miners call for establishment of Industrial Court

first_imgThe establishment of an industrial court here in Guyana to settle labour disputes have been long requested by Trade Unions and was even considered by Government last year but never materialised.However, miners who are at the depths of their despair with workplace struggles for better wages are now strengthening these calls.Several workers of the Aurora Gold Mines, owned by Guyana Goldfields, who would have recently protested against their employer, told Guyana Times that an industrial court is desperately needed in Guyana to provide unbiased judgment. So far, negotiations between workers and companies have not produced fruitful results in their opinion.One worker told this publication on Saturday, “At this time, we’re not treated fairly when the company decide what they want to give us and what they think is good enough. There is not much the Labour Department could do because the company is the one with the higher hand. They employed us and they can hire new people. It is time for us to get a court that we can turn to when things are not going right.”Another worker contended that in their situation, workers have to wait for a long period of time before any significant changes are made.“Right now, we just get out bonus and we don’t know if we are getting anything more for now. We as miners have to work in conditions that are so bad and yet nothing is being done for us. The union could only do so much,” a worker told this publication.Their representative, the National Mine Workers Union, which is yet to be officially recognised, have also shared the same position as the workers.President of the Union, Sherwayne Downer also explained to the Guyana Times that the mining industry is “drowning” with labour and other related issues. As such, an industrial court will alleviate these problems.Back in December, Government was assessing the possibility of establishing a labour court in a bid to ensure quicker resolution of industrial disputes.Recently, workers of AGM had downed their tools and initiated strike actions for two days after calls mounted for them to be officially represented by a union and other improved working conditions and wages.After negotiations, a letter was issued to employees granting the second quarterly bonus of 7.6 per cent on July 25, while asserting that the formula for the next bonus will be reviewed.The notice, seen by this publication, indicated that a Site Compensation Committee will be established by August 31, to review “compensation related issues including those related to contract employment”. By October, the final report will be produced. Contributions to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will also be reviewed.last_img read more