…promises to deliberate on NIS, compensationAurora Gold Mine (AGM) on Saturday issued notices to its workers, granting them their second quarterly bonus and further committing towards progress on unionisation, compensation and other issues that were raised when the workers initiated strike actions.One miner shared that since the appointment of new human resources personnel, they have seen improvement in working conditions.A letter was issued to employees by the Chief Operation Officer, Suresh Kalathil, granting the second quarterly bonus of 7.6 per cent on July 25, while asserting that the formula for the next bonus will be reviewed.The notice, seen by this publication, indicated that a Site Compensation Committee will be established by August 31, to review “compensation related issues including those related to contract employment”.By October, the final report will be produced. Contributions to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will also be reviewed.As it relates to severance payments, Kalathil stated, “In all cases where termination of employment is required, AGM will abide by the Employment Legislation and Regulations of Guyana. As this topic relates to the possible Aurora Mining Alliance, I state that no decision has been made yet regarding this possible venture”.Nevertheless, they have agreed to foster discussions on the unionisation of workers, a factor which was heavily opposed in the inception. Town hall meetings will be held with staffers to ensure that the yearly target is achieved.Canadian-based Guyana Gold Fields is the parent company behind AGM’s operations. Earlier this month, over 200 workers had downed their tools and initiated strike actions for two days after calls mounted for them to be officially represented by a union and other improved working conditions and wages. They are demanding better wages, better quality food and laundry services, out of town allowance, missing NIS contributions and severance payments.While some opted to head home during the strike, others headed down to the Social Protection Ministry’s Labour Department after leaving the mines. This publication spoke to several workers, including one who revealed what concerns drove the workers to strike.“There were certain concerns raised by those who were contract workers for four years and so on, and they haven’t been given any confirmation. There are cases where some workers are truck drivers and others are utility operators. That means they can operate many other equipment. And they’re paid on the same rate as the truck drivers,” the worker said.Because of these actions, the company stated that three days without operation resulted in an estimated 22,500 ounces of unprocessed ore. Despite this, the company claimed a few days ago that Aurora Gold Mine recorded a 45 per cent increase in gold production.It produced 37,000 ounces of gold for the second quarter of 2019 and a total of 74,000 ounces for the first half of the year.On this note, the company said that it is on track to achieve its 2019 production, which ranges from 145,000 to 160,000 ounces of gold.Aurora Gold Mine
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