Bismarck Ramu Group
The termination of 51 National employees (mostly union members) by the Ramu NiCo (MCC) Management on 2nd, May 2016 and the laying – off of another 289 employees is severely questionable and cannot be justified.
Before understanding the above statement, let us rewind back to a certain incident that sparked the mass termination of National Employees.
On 12th April 2016 the incident at the High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) AutoClave at Basamuk Refinery resulted in the death of a Chinese National and two national employees being injured.
Following the incident, on 15th April, 2016 the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) issued specific directives to cease operations in the HPAL areas and withdraw persons engaged in or being in those areas..
The Ramu NiCo (MCC) Management claimed that due to orders from the MRA and FINANCIAL INSTABILITY (where did that came from?) the company would;
- Retain a few employees
- Lay-Off a few Employees; and
- Terminate employees
So, they proceeded with the termination of 51 National Employees, 34 of whom were members of the Ramu NiCo Allied Workers Union from both the Refinery at Basamuk and operations at Kurumbukari.
The Ramu NiCo Allied Workers union established on August 14th, 2013 under the Industrial Organizations Act had been vocal on many neglected issues of the national employees. For instance, in 2013, National Employees raised concerns and took action in protest of the poor working condition with low pay and inhuman treatment by the Chinese employers.
A conference was then held to address these issues and the outcome of the conference was the signing of the Ramu Nickel Project Operations Industrial Award 2014-2017 on 15th March 2014.
Fast-forward to 2016, on January 7th, on that day the Union presented the MCC Management a 11 point petition on employees wellbeing and safety issues and gave the management 21 days to respond.
The management responded to the 11-point petition on 20th January only to withdraw the original response the very next day (what a load of crap) and called for a meeting with the union to provide a detail response to the petition.
This nonsense by the MCC Management forced national employees to stop work. They then waited for the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations (DIRL) for necessary instrument for a Compulsory Conference, which was released by Herman Joseph Gire of DIRL.
However, the Compulsory Conference held from 29th January to 8th March 2016 was a total a waste of time, according to the union executive.
The union could not get across their resolutions and the draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) prepared by the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) of the Compulsory Conference, which they unanimously disagree to and had requested for a Industrial Tribunal. This was simply because the conference chairman Mr Philip Wori, was conveniently unavailable. (Gee- wonder why) Note here that Mr Wori was suppose to advise the union of their next step and give them a copy of his report.
Whilst waiting for the conference chairman to respond and make himself available to assist the union the Union Executive were terminated along with 34 union members.
This Union who represents the national employee at Ramu Nickel since conception had been raising serious concerns but the management always brushes their concerns aside. The Chinese seem to care more about their machines then the person(s) operating them. The Ramu Nickel Project Operations Industrial Award 2014-2017 signed on 15th March 2014 plays the role of a rubber stamp as the company failed to honour its commitment.
Whenever, issues rises regarding the Industrial Award 2014 to 2017, the management always refers them to the review, which is due on 15 December 2016. What good is a review when you cannot honour your current deal?
The bullshit review will only act as a rubber stamp, to make the Ramu NiCo management look good, but everyone knows they live up to the MCC acronym – MCC – MORE CHINESE CRIMINAL, who has no respect for the national employees and the constitution of our country.
The mass termination of national employees by the Ramu NiCo MUST be seen for what it truly is.