ASI commits its solidarity with struggling Bauxite Workers in Guyana

The African Socialist International Interim Committee is calling on all African people and supporters of African national liberation to support the self-determination struggle of African people in Guyana and in the Caribbean.

We are at this moment calling on everyone to support the struggle of the African workers in Guyana, particularly those who are fighting in the bauxite mines against the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporation (BCGI), which is 90 percent owned by the Russian Aluminium (RUSAL) corporation.

We demand nothing less than the government of Guyana meet all the demands of the African workers in Guyana for full civil, economic, social and political rights, and are calling on every one to participate or support the demonstration called for in support of Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB &GWU) to be held outside Guyana’s embassies in the UK, US and Canada.

Since November 2009, African workers in the BCGI have been under assault by the Guyanese government and the Russian company, just like the African workers in Guinea are also under assault by the French and US corporations, which exploit our people and steal our bauxite in our homeland.

Dismissal of workers who went on strike, refusal to recognize the rights of unions to strike and the refusal to meet and bargain with unions must be overturned.

The Asian face of the neocolonialist government of Guyana, headed by Bharrat Jagdeo’s People Progressive Party, has unleashed a vicious assault on human and economic rights of African people in Guyana

Arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, tortures and extra-judicial killings of African people, including children, have become notorious functions of this government.

The treatment of African people at the hands of a hostile and chauvinist Asian government is no different from the treatment we get at the hands of African neocolonial governments in Jamaica or in Nigeria.

They all behave in the same way because of their unity and defence of parasitic capitalism, which requires all of them to suck the blood of African people in order to exist and function.

Where there should be a dialogue and unity of the masses of oppressed indigenous people, Africans and Asians against the oppressor nations who benefit from the expropriation of Guyana’s bauxite, the petty bourgeois government of Guyana has chosen to spread ethnic and Asian chauvinism at the expense of Africans and indigenous ethnic groups of Guyana, while they are allowing parasitic multinationals companies from oppressors nations to loot the wealth of Guyana.

We are opposed to both African and Asian opportunism at the expense of African and other oppressed people of Guyana.

We in the African Socialist International (ASI) are convinced that the struggle of Africans for self-determination and economic power in Guyana can only develop to its full conclusion when Africans in Guyana are part of one unified African struggle across all the continents where Africans are oppressed and exploited.

African workers have to fight for political power in our own hands.

According to a press release of September 24, 2010 distributed by the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union, the acting General Secretary of the Union claims that “the Government of Guyana is at the centre of the difference in treatment given to the bauxite union and to the sugar union, the bauxite workers being mainly African and the sugar workers mainly Indian.

“Oldendorff has a track record of reneging on agreements, exploiting workers and violating labour laws.

“The company refuses to account to workers on their pay-slips how many hours worked, how many normal hours and overtime hours, and hourly rate of pay; and for months has refused to comply with the request by the union to record the information on the pay-slips consistent with the laws.

“Workers are yet to be paid their bonus for 2009 and the company refuses to discuss the non-payment” (GB & GWU press release, September 24, 2010).

We are convinced that African workers, indigenous people and Asian workers in Guyana have common interests and common enemies.

We are calling on Asian workers to turn their back on the Asian petty bourgeoisie, and unite with the self-determination, aspirations and demands of indigenous peoples and of African people in Guyana, who seek to end parasitic capitalism.

In the case of African people in Guyana, as for the rest of African people everywhere, our long term and strategic interests are concentrated in the ASI.

Thus, we call for Asian solidarity with the building of the ASI in Guyana and everywhere.

Such is the basis of genuine friendship and unity between oppressed peoples in Guyana.

We demand

• Genuine solidarity between African, Asian and Indigenous workers

• Immediate reinstatement of 57 African workers, dismissed by RUSAL

• Reparations to African workers for illegal dismissal and loss of income

• Respect of labour laws and civil liberties in Guyana

• Immediate end to extra-judicial killings and an international investigation of all the killings of Africans under the government of Bharrat Jagdeo

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