The Guyana Public Service union is calling for a comprehensive safety and health audit at workplaces occupied by state-employed workers and for immediate steps to be taken, where necessary, to effect upgrading measures.
The call by the union is in response to the situation that developed at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
At the Commission’s Brickdam location, scores of workers became exposed and tested positive for mercury in their system due to the operations of the Guyana Gold Board, which is located in the same compound.
In a statement this afternoon, the GPSU said it has communicated with both the Minister of Natural Resources and the Commissioner of the Guyana Geology Mines Commission seeking urgent and direct dialogue on what the Union considers to be a matter of particular importance to the welfare of a section of its membership.
The union said it is deeply disappointed over the fact that up to this time it has not been “accorded the courtesy of an acknowledgement of its communication, far less a substantive response.”
The GPSU has however applauded the move by the Natural Resources Ministry to immediately halt the burning of raw gold in the brickdam laboratory of the Guyana Gold Board
Last Friday, workers of the GGMC started strike action in protest of the high levels of mercury in the compound.
Many of the workers complained then that their concerns were not being taken seriously. The Natural Resources Ministry has since explained that it is paying attention to the issue and acting on the concerns.