Thursday, April 14, 2005

Atlas Controversy

April 14, Toledo City, Cebu -- Two opposing factions of terminated workers of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. (ACMDC) have accused each other of sabotaging the chances of rehabilitating Asia's largest copper mine.

Antonio Cuizon, president of Panaghiusa sa mga Mamumuo sa Atlas (PAMA), told DYAB Radyo Patrol that the group of Macario Alcontin has cannibalized vital mining equipment in violation of the court order that only unserviceable materials can be taken and sold as scrap metal the proceeds of which will settle their unpaid wages and benefits.

Cuizon said the removal of the mining equipment will make Atlas less attractive to prospective investors courted by management to infuse fresh capital and rehabilitate the mine.

But Alcontin's lawyer, Bienvenido Baring, said that they are following the court's order to the letter and that Cuizon has turned his back to the union members and is now working with management in frustrating the workers' rightful efforts to recover the salaries and benefits withheld by management when Atlas was closed years ago. [30]

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