RJR News has been informed that talks took place yesterday at the American Embassy in Kingston to discuss mounting fears that the Windalco alumina refinery in Jamaica could suffer fallout from US sanctions against its parent company Russian conglomerate UC Rusal.
It was held in response to a request from the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees, UCASE, which represents hundreds of workers at Windalco.
The union wants to secure a waiver for Jamaica from the effects of the sanctions. UCASE President Vincent Morrison, who attended the meeting, told RJR News that the talks lasted for more than two hours. He noted that it was agreed that Jamaica's situation needs special attention.
Despite a stay of US sanctions against Windalco's parent company, the alumina refinery is struggling as international financial institutions shy away from doing business with it.
The US Treasury has given American companies until October 23 to wind down business with Rusal.
It said it would consider lifting the sanctions if Rusal's major shareholder, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, ceded control of the company.
Mr. Deripaska has since complied.