THE Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) has criticised the management of Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO)/Alpart's failure to respond to the union's request for a meeting to discuss plans for the temporary closure of the alumina refinery.
The union's president, Senator Kavan Gayle, made the accusation in a letter to the refinery's management following a meeting with them on September 9, where the legal issues surrounding the closure were discussed with Managing Director Sung Jing.
He said, however, that the company failed to meet a commitment to communicate with the unions the details of the proposed suspension of operations by September 11.
He said that in the meantime, the company has been having meetings with the workers since September 19, and another meeting has been announced for September 25, without appraising the three unions representing the workers — the BITU, the National Workers Union and the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees.
The BITU accused the refinery's management of taking “poor” advice from within its management structure on several matters, including how to handle the pre-closure discussions.
“This wanton disrespect for our laws and for the legally recognised representational structure will not be accepted without repercussions,” Gayle cautioned.
He added that the unions were serving notice on the management that they are dissatisfied with the action. Copies of the letter were sent to both Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague and Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson.
— Balford Henry