PNP says talks in China with JISCO will bring reward for local workers

Saturday, November 17, 2018

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KINGSTON, JamaicaThe People's National Party (PNP) says the Chinese-ownedJiuguan Iron and Steel (Group) Company (JISCO) has made a commitment that more job opportunities in its mining operations will be afforded to Jamaican workers over their Chinese counterparts at the Alpart plant in St Elizabeth.

PNP, in statement, said the commitment comes after a visit by the Shadow Minister of Mining and Energy, Phillip Paulwell and Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips to JISCO in the People's Republic of China.

“The understanding was reached in negotiations in 2015 and has been progressing since. However, the commitment was restated by JISCO that priority will be given to Jamaican workers,” Paulwell was quoted as saying in the release.

“JISCO reaffirmed that the Chinese workforce will be reduced as qualified Jamaicans are available,” he added.

This 2015 agreement has already seen several Jamaicans being granted full scholarships to attend training programmes in China in preparation for positions at the local plant. These scholarships have been granted in areas of specialisation in alumina refinery and energy generation, among others.

Paulwell also said that the management of the steel and aluminium giant assured the PNP delegation that the company will continue to pursue the expansion programme it envisioned in 2015.

JISCO is among the world's top ten producers of aluminium and employs workers in areas such as electricity, engineering, and other technical services, among other career disciplines.

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