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Windalco scholarships still in place

Published:Saturday | April 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Despite making its 762 permanent workers redundant on Wednesday and halting production, the West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco) will honour its obligation regarding scholarships tenable at the tertiary level for children of the now former workers.

According to president of the National Workers Union (NWU) Vincent Morrison, this was one of the agreements struck between the union and the management of the company.

"The NWU has an agreement with the company for the scholarship programme to run to its full extent," Morrison told The Gleaner.

Morrison said all students, including those who started university last September, would continue to enjoy the benefits of the scholarship for the duration of their tenure, whether for four years, or seven years as in the case of medical students.

The scholarship programme has been in place for a number of years and impacted all levels of education.

Windalco emerged from the sale of pioneering bauxite company Alcan, which charted the course in the bauxite industry in Jamaica over half a century ago, with the NWU representing the workers for decades.

"The company was one of the best examples of corporate Jamaica. Their overall corporate influence and the way they contributed has been tremendous," Morrison told The Gleaner on Wednesday.

Morrison said the bauxite company, under the various names (Alcan, Glencor, Windalco) played tremendous roles in the communities in which it operated, especially in the areas of culture and sport.

- C.G.