Dear Editor,
Mr Lewis had many interactions with Mr Sam Hinds while in the boxit sector or as Prime Minister and failed to remember the many seminars Mr Sam Hinds attended, where he spoke to the many workers, including Mr Lewis and Kim Kissoon . One such stand out is the theme “Where to Bauxite?” Many employees still have to stay in the mind as everyone is aware that changes are coming.
However, they all knew that the change was not arbitrary, the Government had no intention of closing Linmine and Bermine In particular, in the case of Linmine, the PPP / C met an agreement between the outgoing PNC Administration in 1992 and the group of supporting countries. and organizations, which demanded that the international manager, MINPROC, funded by the auxiliary group, have two years to manage Linmine in their best judgment, then would pronounce whether or not Linmine could be made profitable. If so, Linmine was to be sold and if not, it was to shut down immediately.
In 1994, MINPROC announced the latter, it could not see profitability for Linmine – but it (PPP / C) did not proceed to close Linmine. Mr Sam Hinds and the PPP / C Ministry had to reconfigure the operations while organizing to meet all employee benefits. The companies were reorganized to fit the new (smaller) sales outlook, taking every opportunity to improve productivity and thus reduce costs. Over the previous years of inadequate funds in Linmine, the payments to employee savings scheme, GRA personal income tax, NIS, company pension scheme were in arrears and needed to be reconciled with the various agencies. More than $ 2.5 billion and two years were needed to satisfy all of these.
In Bermine’s case, it was completely run down. As things turned out, ALCOA bought Reynolds, inheriting a GOG / Reynolds joint operation in Aroaima. ALCOA informed the Government that it did not need the Aroaima operation, but were willing to give ABC / AMC to the Government for US $ 1, along with conditions that essentially suggested that GoG would keep the operations going for two more years. Once again, it was Sam Hinds and the PPP / C who ensured that reorganization was done to reduce costs and losses / subsidies and meet everything workers needed. Bermine was merged into ABC / AMC, which was in better condition with better prospects.
In time, as hoped, the two rearranged operations attracted credible and privatized interests. In such circumstances, the better way was to wind up the existing company and start a new company in a new book. Termination benefits had to be paid to everyone and a good number of the 3000 so terminated were paid and re-employed the next day. Our PPP / C Administration was as generous as it could be.
Break the savings plan and the pension scheme. The PPP / C decided to end the savings scheme and pension scheme – many workers wanted their money for different reasons. Also, the cost of running the pension scheme up to the last member’s passing would consume a large part of the scheme, especially when inflation is considered to be on average around 100 between when money was put into the scheme and when it was administered. .
GoG had no rights to transfer the employees’ money to others. We said, “Go to the workers. We will give the money to the employees, and then they would invest themselves directly in any way / fund as they might be persuaded ”. (ii) With regard to the eventual privatization of the boycott operations, we maintained / subsidized them through a number of invitations to privatization, until we felt that there were credible proposals. So, recall that the cooperation in the Linden area was first privatized to OGML / CAMBIOR and when they collapsed, we accepted the only offer OGML / CAMBIOR was willing to accept, BOSAI (operations would have closed ‘ n suddenly otherwise). At Berbice River, we accepted RUSAL’s offer. Today, in a very difficult global trade situation, BOSAI and RUSAL are continuing core operations. (iii) In terms of the alternative proposal for Bermine, we could have been wrong, but given the state of the plant, the bauxite / alumina / aluminum as well as the non-metallic businesses, we did not think that offer credible. As I recall Mr Lewis’ proposals were not well received by a number of employees at a meeting held in Everton.
The PPP / C worked with the EU / SYSMINS for a third multilateral intervention, LEAP, proposing and moving forward to initiate a program of some 25 million Euro that included much needed physical infrastructure (Linden-Ituni-Kwakwani road upgrade and Millie’s Hideout to Wiruni on the Berbice River). In later EU reviews, LEAP was reduced to keep the focus on a people-changing program. Separate funding would later have to be sought for infrastructure and other projects as they became apparent. Mr Winston Brassington and the late Mr Horace James worked tirelessly to make available and attract non-core assets available for lucrative new ventures.
The Ministry completed PPP / C Government receiving and providing for all non-core social services that were no longer carrying the bucket operations. the PPP / C claims in all clear conscience that they have been taking fair and proper (not identical) positions on bauxite and sugar, and have been the victims of both sides. For example, there is the criticism that when OGML / CAMBIOR suspended operations at Linden for two months, PPP / C provided basic pay to all employees requiring them, from Sweeper to Manager, to spend a certain amount of hours each week computer classes were aimed at their level, the PPP / C pointing African boxers to the digital future.
Former Prime Minister Mr Sam Hinds moved on from the suffering of the past to a more hopeful and united future. His rhetoric has called our Guyanese nation to be Guyanese regardless of race or class, and has equal status and equal opportunity.

David Adams

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