MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Russian giant will sack more than 700 Jamaican employees

Published by MAC on 2010-02-07
Source: Jamaica Observer

WINDALCO to make over 700 employees redundant

Gleaner/Power 106 News

6 January 2010

The West Indies Alumina Company, (WINDALCO) says it will be making the positions of 762 permanent employees redundant.

The decision comes nine months after the company suspended production at its Kirkvine and Ewarton Refineries as a result of the drastic reduction in demand for Aluminum.

At that time the permanent employees started working three days a week.

WINDALCO says there has been some improvement in the global economy but the alumina industry has only seen marginal movement.

It says with no immediate resumption of production in sight, the management felt it was in the best interest of the company to make the 762 positions redundant.

For months now the employees have been demanding that their positions be made redundant since working three days a week was not feasible.

The acting Managing Director of WINDALCO Andrew Currie says the redundancy exercise is in direct response to feedback from many employees.

He says the company's management is currently redefining its needs and will be designing the new organisation structure.

The structure will be implemented on Thursday, April 1, 2010.

Mr Currie says a small complement of workers will be required to undertake activities aimed at preserving its assets and meeting legal and community obligations.

760 bauxite workers to lose jobs

Patrick Foster, Jamaica Observer

7 January 2010

THE positions of 760 workers employed by West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco) will be made redundant by March, a senior trade union official told the Observer last night.

President of the National Workers Union Vincent Morrison said that the management of UC Rusal, which owns Windalco's two bauxite producing plants and a port in Jamaica, had told the union that it would send home its entire workforce by the end of March, almost nine months after Jamaica's largest bauxite and alumina production company, Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart) shut its doors and sent home close to 1,000 salaried employees last July.

"They have informed us that come the end of March they will be making the jobs of the entire 760 workers redundant," Morrison told the Observer.

Early last year Windalco cut is production of alumina and put its workers on a three-day work-week, citing contraction in international demand for aluminium, caused by the effects of the worldwide recession.

The company, which operates the Kirkvine plant in Manchester, Ewarton plant in St Catherine as well as Port Esquivel, also in St Catherine, said then that it would resume production if market conditions changed.

"The idea of getting back into production is nowhere in sight," Morrison said.

He said that the NWU would be meeting with Windalco's management this morning to start discussions on termination arrangements for the workers.

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