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by James Parks, Mar 23, 2010

Late last year, 57 leaders of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers’ Union (GBGWU) were fired, without recourse, when miners at the Bauxite Company of Guyana (BCGI) exercised their right to strike after they declared the company bargained in bad faith. 

According to LabourStart, the global labor news service, the company gave 600 miners the choice of accepting one of three bargaining proposals. When the miners voted to accept the deal management wanted least, BCGI fired the union’s leaders.

LabourStart reports that BCGI has since coerced and intimidated workers to sign a petition to decertify the union. The Russian aluminum company RusAl owns 90 percent of BCGI and the government of Guyana owns the other 10 percent.

You can act now to help Guyanese workers. Click here to send a letter to Guyana’s government demanding that it honor the workers’ rights.

In a letter to Guyana’s labor minister, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka noted Guyana’s government has part ownership in the bauxite company, which he says makes it “directly responsible for the egregious infractions of fundamental worker trade union rights in this particular case.”

We respectfully demand that your government do everything to cease, desist and reverse these violations of basic worker rights, including rapid reinstatement of the fired trade union leaders with full compensation, as well as an immediate end to the union decertification effort.

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