RUSAL blanks tax-free overtime

…to hold talks with gov’t on way forward

THE Bauxite Company Guyana Inc. (BCGI,a subsidiary of Russian Aluminium (RUSAL),has refused to sign on to the tax-free overtime agreement, saying that it does not support the workers’ representative,the Guyana Bauxite Union, as a signatory to the pact.Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott, confirmed that the company has refused to comply with the order, saying that they do not agree with the approach being taken. Scott said that the company has proposed a different approach to treat with the issue and discussions are being held currently on the matter.
In August, Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence had said that the tax waiver was a done deal, but while BOSAI and Oldendorff Carrier have signed onto the agreement, BCGI is withholding its signature.
Tax-free concession on overtime work was implemented in 1988. This concession was enjoyed by workers up until 2007, when it was taken away by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration. The move by the PPP Administration had adversely affected the earnings of bauxite workers from Linden and Kwakwani, and was viewed by critics as a punitive exercise for not supporting the PPP.

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