ON WEDNESDAY, December 13, the Ghana Mineworkers Union of the Ghana Trade Union Congress held a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, which is the highest decision making body apart from its National Delegates Conference, which occurs after every four-year term.
At the highly attended meeting, so many sensitive issues came up and they arrived at petitioning the leadership of Parliament over a lay-off exercise since the matter has a national connotation.
The concern of these mineworkers are that the management of Gold Fields Ghana is currently pursuing a radical business option dubbed “Contract Mining”, which, according to them, has the propensity of threatening the jobs of over 1700 workers.
Among their concerns were also that the GFG’s choice of this aggressive option is attributed to two cardinal reasons, namely the short life span of the Mine and secondly the aging fleet of the machines.
These two reasons they said were false and without any basis. Therefore among the measures they adopted was for them to take a legal descision.
Now, yesterday, a day after that NEC meeting, they have presented a petition to Parliament, drawing its attention to the development and are asking the leadership of the house to probe the matter.
In their petition to Parliament yesterday, they stated that GFG’s own official website stated that Tarkwa Gold Mine is a “world-class, low-cost surface mine with a 6.1Moz Mineral Reserve and 15-year life (nine years mining, followed by processing of the surface stockpile and South Heap Leach material) that remains strongly geared to the gold price – strong potential for leveraging resource ounce conversion and driving larger pits with high gold prices.”
This, according to them, is an unethical behaviour, especially by GFG, and deceptive and ought to be thoroughly investigated and offenders dealt with accordingly.
“We therefore wish to officially petition Parliament through your good offices to, as a matter of urgency, call Gold Fields Ghana Limited to order, institute a Committee to probe into the skewed business model of Gold Fields Ghana as well as the factual misrepresentation of Company information by the same Company, considering its implications on workers, communities and the nation as a whole,” the petition signed by the General Secretary Mr Prince William Ankrah read in part.
We at the DAILY HERITAGE would like to urge on all the parties involved to have a round table discussion and resolve this issue once and for all. We believe that the workers have shown maturity that they are law-abiding by first taking the matter to court and secondly, petitioning Parliament.
We call on the leadership of parliament to probe the matter as with immediacy and to the management GFG if indeed the exercise is not to enrich their pockets as was being alleged by the workers, we call on them to come out with the through state of the mines.
What we want to tell the mineworkers is that retrenchment has a positive side and if possible they should consider its positivity who knows maybe it could be a blessing in disguise.