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Major redundancy at Windalco

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM

NINE MONTHS after Windalco suspended production at its Ewarton refineries, the bauxite company says it will implement a redundancy exercise for its 762 permanent employees at the end of March, this year.

Production was suspended last year as a result of a sharp reduction in demand for aluminium in the wake of the global economic meltdown.

In a news release yesterday, Windalco said while it acknowledged that there has been some improvement in the global economy, the alumina industry has only seen marginal movement.

"With this in mind and with no immediate end in sight to the period of suspended production, the management felt the decision was in the best interest of the company," the release said.

Andrew Currie, acting managing director of Windalco said: "The redundancy exercise is in direct response to feedback from many employees. We thank the entire workforce for the role they played in establishing Windalco as a leading company in Jamaica. The tireless efforts and dedication of the workers have advanced the standards of the local bauxite and alumina industry."

Counselling sessions

Recognising the impact the redundancy exercise would have on many, Currie also urged the employees to take advantage of the series of personal and financial counselling sessions being organised by the company.

The company's management is currently redefining its needs and will be designing the new organisation structure, which will be implemented on April 1, 2010.

A small complement of workers will be required to undertake activities aimed at preserving its assets and meeting legal and community obligations. This will also require support from local contractors to meet other ongoing needs.

Additionally, the new organisational structure will ensure a continuation of the agricultural activities and third-party business at Port Esquivel in St Catherine.

Windalco 's facilities have formed a long and proud partnership with the local communities and people of Jamaica in their more than 50 years of operation. During this time, these facilities have significantly impacted on community development and nation building.