Torex Suspends Employment Contracts Due To Blockade
The company called the disruption an “illegal blockade” and said it has been carried out by an outside union that wants to represent employees who already have a union. Torex has continued to pay its workforce since the disruption began in early November, except for those workers who took part in the blockade, but said it can no longer afford to do so.
The suspension of employment contracts was effective Saturday, although some workers will be kept to “manage the company’s ongoing responsibilities.” Torex said last week that employees taking part in a poll voted to return to work, but the blockade continued over the weekend anyway. The company added that it will reconsider the employment-contract suspension if the blockade is removed by the end of Dec. 20.
“We will continue to work with the Federal Labor Board to expedite the legal process that leads to a secret ballot for employees to select the union they wish to have represent them,” said Fred Stanford, president and chief executive officer. “As we have previously stated, we are willing to work with the union the employees select. While this process unfolds, it is essential the illegal blockade be lifted and the employees return to work immediately after Christmas.”
Torex said the first meeting of a formal Labor Board process occurred Wednesday and was to establish a date for a secret ballot in which the issue of union representation would be resolved through a vote by union-eligible employees. However, Torex said the union that began the blockade asked for a delay of the decision to establish a vote date until Jan. 30.
Commercial production at the Limon-Guajes Mine began in March 2016. Torex produced 212,711 ounces of gold during the first nine months of 2017, according to the third-quarter earnings report.