Sanctions on RUSAL– record-keeping, working conditions inspectedOldendorff Carriers (Guyana) Inc General Manager Ulf Henriksson on Friday handed Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle details of all employees currently working at the company’s operations in the Berbice River. The presentation was made at the Department of Labour.RUSAL, the parent company of Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI), has been sanctioned by the US Government. BCGI’s operations are in Region 10. OLDENDORFF is contracted by BCGI to transport bauxite from the mine areas near Aroaima to load on ships at the mouth of the Berbice River. The US Government sanctions require that all companies doing business with those that have been sanctioned wind down operations by October 23, or they themselvesLabour officials meeting with workerswill be sanctioned.In a statement on Friday, it was noted that while there are international negotiations to get the US Government to withdraw the current sanctions, OLDENDORFF is compelled to make preparations for winding down, should such efforts fail. As a result, the company has begun to sensitise workers to the possibility that it would not be able to continue operating in Guyana.The employment information was requested by the Department of Labour in order to determine the benefits to be accrued to the employees should the company be forced to wind down operations in Guyana.The information is also expected to support the work of a cabinet-appointed task force set up to address the future of workers at RUSAL and related companies in light of USA-imposed sanctions. BCGI is OLDENDORFF’s only client in Guyana.The current situation stems from sanctions imposed on Russia on April 6 by the US Government. Seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, among others, have been added to what is called the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN”). Such sanctions apply to entities that are directly or indirectly owned 50 percent or more by these or other SDNs.According to the statement, OLDENDORFF has, for 12 years, been operating successfully in Guyana, and had every intention of continuing operations, until being forced to face closure of the operations here because of the US Government sanctions.It was noted that during the 12 years, the company employed and trained more than 250 persons from the Berbice area, most of whom still work for the company today. These employees have performed at the highest industry standards, and have contributed significantly to the performance efficiencies of the OLDENDORFF operation here.Speaking on Thursday during the ceremony concerned with handing over the documents to the Chief Labour Officer, OCGI General Manager Ulf Henriksson said that ‘OLDENDORFF management in Guyana and their parent company in Germany are promising to ensure that, should the company have to exit Guyana, the workers would be given proper notice.“Our employees can rest assured that we will adhere to the laws of Guyana, and they will receive what they are entitled to.“On the heels of (Thursday) handing over of the employee information, a team from the Department of Labour, Occupational Safety and Health visited OLDENDORFF’s headquarters in New Amsterdam, Berbice. The team, led by Senior Labour Officer Dexter Semple, conducted an inspection of the company’s records and working conditions.Semple also took the opportunity to speak directly with workers who assembled at the New Amsterdam Stelling. Workers had a free exchange with the Labour Officer, and registered concerns for follow up.”It is understood that OLDENDORFF suspended operations for two hours to allow the workers to attend the meeting. At the end of the meeting, OLDENDORFF managers presented each of the 115 employees gathered at the stelling with letters that provided information on the company’s response to the sanctions, and the efforts that are being taken in the workers’ interest.