I have noticed with deep concern the ongoing quarrel between the Local RUSAL’S Management, including BCGI, and the Workers, and the Workers’ Union in Guyana.
For many decades, I have been studying what was then the Soviet Union and what became now – The Russian Federation. The philosophies and principles of the Soviet Union (USSR) and now The Russian Federation was based on the fact that the workers are the bosses. It was the union’s paradise.
The USSR and still the Modern Federation premise was all based on respect for workers and placing the workers’ interests at the forefront of Industrial Management. Workers were to enjoy more amenities than managers and supervisors, because this was what the philosophies and wisdom of V.I. Lenin was based on. Moreover, for decades, we were taught and shown how the Soviet Union was a worker’s paradise and now for this to be happening here in Guyana is a scary trend, even worrisome.
RUSAL, is a majestic International Corporation, doing important service to Guyana and beyond by supplying aluminum and aluminum products around the world, and providing opportunities in mining and also enriching countries and workers by the circulating of wealth, and by its marketing strategies of the bauxite and the bauxite ore.
I do not think that the current dispute is one of animosity towards the Guyanese population or Guyanese workers employed by RUSAL but more of a cultural conflict because of the hardships and difficulties the Russians went through coming towards the end of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the onslaughts of World War Two and its effects on their country’s history and economy.
It is what I consider a dangerous trend or “cultural change” in the Soviet Union, where those in power want to have power and have it all cost, climbing on top and over the workers.
It is not only a Soviet Union problem, but one that still exists around the world – even the “free world’ – whereby overall, the big companies or countries try to get up at the destruction of smaller companies or smaller countries or smaller people by bigger people.
Guyana is projected to be one of the largest oil producers around the world, with many spinoffs and businesses, so the Government of Russia as an Industrialist is now looking to Guyana as being a country of high investment prospects to its national interests. Therefore, Guyana being this country that is taking off sooner or later in the oil industry, with the potential to induce other companies in Russia to set up smelting plants for the processing of aluminium products in Guyana, assembling plants, offers great potential for a lucrative economic relationship between Guyana and Russia, and between Russia and other countries. However, if this atmosphere of mistrust continues to exist between the workers and one of Russia’s industrial giants, it might scare various governments and politicians of going into business with Russian companies or the Government of Russia.
I understand what a wonderful set of people the Russians are, having worked with them for a number of years. I served the BCGI since their arrival in Guyana in the area of security (although having been replaced in recent times). In addition, I have a close relationship with Russia and respect for Russia’s history, so I find it painful that the management style and technique that is ongoing at this juncture in Guyana appears to be antagonistic to the workers and what is happening is making Russia look bad, making Russian corporations seem fearsome to do business with.
RUSAL’s management needs to understand “what goes around comes around” and they have to realize that this is Guyana – a country where we always have workers’ liberation, workers’ independence and strong powerful unions – without which workers would not be able to have their rightful benefits and would be abused.
The Russians are known generally for decency and respect to all. I wish to recommend that the Government of Russia at a time such as this, intervene through its very competent Ambassador to Guyana as a friend of Guyana, and be involved in ensuring that Russian Corporations do not take advantage of workers and poor countries. In the end, it will reflect favourably on the Russian Government and the people of Russia.
Mr. Roshan Khan Snr.
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