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Mineworkers, Goldfields case adjourned to Feb 20

MUNTALLA INUSAH

muntalla.inusah@dailyheritage.com.gh

THERE WAS no show at the hearing of the case involving the Ghana Mine Workers Union and Goldfields Ghana Limited because the presiding judge, Justice Laurenda Owusu was on a different assignment.

The case has, thus, been adjourned to Tuesday, February 20.

At the last adjourned date, a motion  filed by the Attorney Generals Department for an order of the court to compel the Ghana Mineworkers Union to comply with Section 10 of the State Proceedings Act, 1998 Act 555 was struck out for want of prosecution.

The Mineworkers are seeking to stop Goldfields Ghana Limited from implementing an intended ‘Contract Mining,’ option.

Per Section 10 of the State Proceedings Act, “a person who intends to institute civil action against the Republic shall serve on the Attorney General a written notice of that intention at least 30 days before the commencement of the action,” but the plaintiff failed to comply with the requirement.

The court said per Section 20 of Act 555, the court is enjoined to adjourn the suit titled ‘Ghana Mineworkers Union vs. Goldfields Ghana Limited and the Attorney General.’

Background

Per the writ filed on behalf of the workers by their lawyer, Mr Charles Bawa Duah, a former Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission, the workers are urging the court to restrain Goldfields from going ahead with the intended redundancy exercise until all the stakeholders involved “have concluded or negotiated on whether the exercise can be averted, and if not, the category of workers to be affected and measures to minimise the impact on workers.”

They are also seeking a declaration from the court that the redundancy exercise is “unlawful” because the reasons given by the mining giant to lay them off did not meet the “requirements, conditions or grounds for redundancy, as provided by Section 65 of the Labour Act, 2013, act 651.”

The workers further want the court to declare that the purported authorisation of the redundancy exercise by the Chief Labour Officer is “illegal, unlawful and null and void.”

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