Amerindian ministry taking steps to curb fleecing of interior workers

Minister of Amerindian Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues has voiced concerns about Amerindian men working in the logging and other areas not being given remuneration.

Rodrigues said "we haven't had many reports from the women but of our Amerindian men going out to work in mining, logging and in other areas and not being paid" a Government Information Agency press release said. The minister said some workers who travel from far distances to obtain work are often told to return home and that their money would come by mail. Rodrigues said this year her ministry would be "cracking down on individuals and companies who try to swindle Amerindians." The ministry will be working closely with the Guyana Forestry Commission and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, who grant concessions to companies involved in logging and mining, to try to curb this practice.

Rodrigues said the ministry intends to take a more aggressive stance on the issue and will publish the names of individuals, some of whom are "very prominent people that you would not expect this from" as some of them have appeared repeatedly. The minister also called for a reform of the Code of Practice as it relates to forestry, especially when it deals with treatment of workers and since State Forest Permits are renewed annually. Rodrigues said in some cases, the commission had assisted the ministry in ensuring that workers were paid and that this arrangement should be formalised to bring an end to the problem.

Source: Starbroek News

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