Mining company accused of mistreating employees

Eight former employees at Natural Resource Development (NRD), yesterday, protested the way they were laid off by their employer. Speaking to The New Times on condition of anonymity, the retrenched workers claimed they were sacked under unclear grounds, and were denied their legal benefits.
OGMR boss Micheal Biryabarema says he is aware of the case
OGMR boss Micheal Biryabarema says he is aware of the case

Eight former employees at Natural Resource Development (NRD), yesterday, protested the way they were laid off by their employer.

Speaking to The New Times on condition of anonymity, the retrenched workers claimed they were sacked under unclear grounds, and were denied their legal benefits.

The sacked employees claim that the problems began in February, when new owners took over the company and selectively started sacking personnel.

“I came to work as usual on February 22 and was surprised to receive an order requiring me to handover my office keys. I was told to wait outside with my two colleagues where we spent the whole day,” said one of sacked employees.

According to the group, they were informed they had lost their jobs and would only be eligible for the February salary.
“There are certain benefits entitled to a worker laid off in such a way. We have been denied all this,” added another victim.

NRD/BVG management admitted the layoff, saying it was part of the restructuring process.

“We are aware of the issue and negotiations are underway and we are waiting for the board chairman to return from the US to settle the matter. They will be paid their due benefits,” said the company’s Chief Finance Officer, Tom Grey.

However, Grey said the layoff was not only triggered by the restructuring, but there were other factors that he declined to disclose in the media.

“I will explain these issues to the labour union if and when we are required to,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority (OGMR) Michael Biryabarema said he had received a letter to that effect.

“I think there are many issues to address before getting to the media. But we are going to work on it hopefully after the government retreat,” Biryabarema explained.

The company that started its operations in 2006, has various mining sites including, Bugesera, Rutsiro, Karongi, Ngororero, and Nyabihu districts.

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