Rosebel Gold Mines (RGM) has been shut down since Friday evening, as workers want clarity about the sale of the company to the Chinese mining company Zijin Mining Co. A meeting between the Rosebel Goldmines Employees’ Organization (RGWO) and the management of RGM did not yield the desired result, union spokesman Otmar Biswane told the news press. Several questions could not be answered. The management of the company would forward all the unanswered questions to Zijin. But Biswane argues that they don’t do business with the prospective buyer. Now they have to deal with the management of the RGM.
Since Iamgold announced that it was looking for a buyer for RGM, the union has written two letters about this. First it was indicated that the process was in progress. The RGWO has heard from the media that an agreement has been reached with Zijin. Biswane said that there is absolutely no clarity about the position of the employees. And they want guarantees about their future. That is why the members have decided to stop working. The factory is not running either.
Meanwhile, RGM’s leadership has issued a memo requesting “all employees participating in the layoff to resume work immediately on schedule.” The management again states that they are unpleasantly surprised by an unannounced layoff. The exact reason for the strike is not clear to the leadership. The work is laid down for the second time in a week. The management of the company says it is open to dialogue in order to find a mutually beneficial solution.
The RGWO blames the management of the company for not being involved in the process of selling RGM. If there were better communication, it wouldn’t have come to the point where the work had to be suppress. This is a major change in which the workers’ union should have been involved, Biswane emphasizes. RGM suffers losses as a result of the strike, the spokesman said that the damage suffered by employees cannot be expressed in money. It is about their future and they want to have a guarantee for the job security of the employees. RGM must give them that guarantee.