Conakry, Guinea — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 April 2010 – Workers at Russian mining giant Rusal’s Friguia alumina refinery in Guinea have decided to return to work after a 16-day strike to demand more pay, according to a statement by one of the union leaders.
The Friguia 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 ships around the world to be refined further into aluminum.
The plant’s output has been nearly completely halted since the start of a strike on 1 April by workers seeking a 50% pay rise to compensate for rising fuel prices.
“Factory production started up again last night,” said Sekou Ousmane Diallo, one of the main union leaders at the plant. He added there was still no definitive agreement on salaries, and that negotiations with management were continuing.
The decision by staff to go back to work came hours after news of the death in a car crash of Ibrahima Fofana, a top Guinean trade unionist who had been involved in the talks at the plant. It was not clear if the two events were linked.