Striking workers, attached to the Bosai Bauxite Company in Linden, yesterday returned to work, following the signing of an agreement between the Management of the Company and officials of NAACIE in the Ministry of Social Protection Conference room. The agreement stipulates, a seven percent increase on the workers’ salaries for the next two years, sick leave benefits and an increase on shift premiums.
In a joint press release, it was stated that the Management of Bosai Minerals Group and the Guyana Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) have amicably concluded wages and salaries negotiation.
The NAACIE Union, which holds more than 70 percent representational rights, of the non- management and supervisory level employees, was able to reach an agreement with Bosai’s management, after three months of negotiations, the release stated.
The two parties, have committed to a two year agreement, that would see employees receiving seven percent in wages and salaries across the board, for the periods April 1st2019 to March 31st 2020 to March 31st, 2021. The release further stated, that there would also be increases, in the shift premium and sick leave benefits, and that the financial adjustments are effective from April 1st 2019.
The parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen dialogue and increase cooperation, with the aim of improving workers welfare, thus enabling the Company to improve and sustain production, the release added.
Signing on behalf of Bosai were General Manager Eric Yu; Senior Personnel Officer, Trudel Marks and Assistant Personnel Officer, Ms. Almira Millington-Estwick.
General Secretary of NAACIE Dawchan Nagasar, President Linnel Warden; Vice Chairman Neptrid Hercules; Chairman Whitney Graham; Secretary Aggrey Darlington and Committee member Cedric Dover, signed on behalf of the Union.
According to Senior Personnel Officer, Trudel Scott, as a result of the amicable solution, some of the striking workers returned to work yesterday, and it is expected that there will be a full turnout of the workforce by this morning.
Bosai workers had on Wednesday downed tools and trekked approximately 12 miles to the Company’s North gate, outside the Bauxite plant in Linden, where they protested Management’s denial, of an increase in their wages and salaries among other issues.
According to the workers, Bosai, instead of granting them an increase on the 6.5 percent as they had proposed, had made an offer of a mere 6 percent for this year.
Whitney Graham, Chairman of NACCIE, which represents the workers, told Kaieteur News,
“Right now we have a situation with the workers. We are on strike, as we were negotiating with the Company, for wages and benefits. But the proposal they are putting forward, we are not in agreement with. Every year we’ve been given targets and we have been achieving those targets, so it is only fair that Bosai pay what we’re asking.”
According to Graham, workers had been seeking an increase on the 6.5 percent they have been receiving on their salaries over the past four years.
However, instead, Bosai had proposed to cut that amount to 6 percent this year.
Apart from that, the workers had also sought an increase on their “night premiums”, which see them receiving forty dollars per hour.
“We need an increase, because the night shift ain’t easy, and presently we only getting forty dollars an hour! We asked them for $100, but they (Management) saying that they can’t pay that!”
Workers had also expressed concern over several youths that are being employed by Bosai, over a prolonged period, on a casual basis.
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