Workers at RUSAL’s (0486.HK: Quote) Friguia alumina refinery in Guinea blocked production for the sixth day in a row on Tuesday after initial negotiation efforts failed and the government threatened to send in security forces.
The plant, the largest industrial project in the fractious West African nation, has a capacity to produce around 640,000 tonnes of alumina per year, which the Russian firm then ships around the world to be refined further into aluminum.
« The entrance to the plant is still blocked by heavy machines. Production is still shut, » said a RUSAL official on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
Guinea sent two government ministers late on Monday to negotiate with members of the union, who are seeking a 50 percent pay hike to compensate for rising fuel prices, and Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore said he would call in security forces if the blockade did not end soon.
« It is imperative that those occupying the refinery leave without delay before I call on security forces to go in carefully and to liberate workers and ensure the security of the plant’s equipment, » he said late Monday on state television.
The RUSAL official said on Tuesday the workers’ union had sent delegates to the capital Conakry to resume talks.
The Friguia refinery employs about 1,080 people. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; writing by Richard Valdmanis).