RUSAL’s ‘spade beating’ allegations…
A special team appointed by RUSAL headquarters in Russia to probe allegations that a General Manager used a spade to threaten workers at the Aroaima site on May 8, has cleared him.
According to a release from RUSAL and its local subsidiary, Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc. (BCGI), Ruslan Volokhov, on Friday resumed duty.
“The committee has found no evidence of the allegations of racism or threats of physical assault by the General Manager. However, based on the committee’s report, the Board of Directors of the company has found the General Manager’s behaviour on May 8, 2011 as conduct unbecoming of a General Manager.”
RUSAL said that it has since made moves to establish a permanent ethics committee at its Aroaima, Berbice, to address similar concerns in the future.
Last month, RUSAL in explaining the incident, said that on Sunday, May 8, around 04:25hrs, management was informed of a problem with the water system at its Aroaima campsite. This problem was also being experienced by all residents of Mapletown, including those at the senior staff quarters.
“Management promptly responded and resolved this problem by 07:10hrs and water was restored. Out of 189 employees on day’s shift, 19 employees chose not to report to work due to “lack of water” for bathing, etc.”
The General Manager, on learning that they were not going to work, proceeded to the campsite to investigate.
“He remonstrated strongly with the employees as they were affecting the production programme for the shift and then they left for their shift (six hours later). This matter was considered closed by management at this point as everything was restored.”
Volokhov was relieved of his duties and removed from the Aroaima site following the stories in the media over the incident.
However, the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) in a statement that later triggered the probe, had said that it received complaints from workers that Volokhov threatened them with a spade. Several workers were seated in a bus at the time.
Volokhov allegedly was carrying a spade in his hands and “threatened to bash their heads and faces then bury them. This threat was made to the workers when they were in the company’s bus at the camp site.”
GTUC, in the statement, was clearly not happy over the incident, describing it as slavery-like attitude by the manager.
According to the statement from RUSAL yesterday, the committee appointed by RUSAL headquarters has completed a thorough investigation of the matter.
“In the course of its investigation, the committee has interviewed and taken statements from all of the persons present at the time of the allegations including its employees.”
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