SANTO DOMINGO. - The Labor Ministry launched an investigation today Friday to determine if the mining company Barrick Gold and its 34 subsidiaries are respecting their workers’ rights.
It’s the third setback for the Canadian company just this year, including calls to review the exploitation contract over alleged non-binding clauses on environmental cleanup, and food poisoning which sickened hundreds of workers one month ago.
Deputy Labor minister Julio Sanz, who made the announcement, said the probe aims to determine if any violation of the Law on Workers Rights have taken place, and if confirmed the company could even be taken to court.
“Just today we instructed the director of Labor to begin an investigation a in Barrick Gold and subsidiary companies to determine if there’s some violation, if the workers’ rights aren’t being respected and we guarantee that we’ll proceed against those who fail to comply with the law and we can even taken them to court," the official said.
The Labor Ministry’s measure comes in the wake of a strike by workers at Barrick Gold’s operation near the northeast city Cotui, sparked by the firing of employees who allegedly attempted to form a union, and led to a suit against the subsidiary company Graña and Montero.
Local media however, report that labor and management reached an agreement of several points, to end the stoppage in the mine operated by Barrick Gold, whose local name is Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation.