Court dismisses injunction case against layoffs at Goldfields

An Accra High Court has dismissed an injunction application by some workers of Goldfields Company Limited over the dismissal of some 1,500 workers of the company.

According to the court presided over by Justice Laurenda Owusu, the mining company risks losing more if the court halts the ongoing layoffs before a determination of the substantive matter on whether they acted within law.

The suit before the court was initiated on behalf of the workers by the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU).

In the writ, the workers are praying the court to restrain Goldfields from going ahead with the intended redundancy exercise until all the stakeholders involved.

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 do 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”.

Goldfields Ghana Limited in December 2017 announced that it will have to lay off some 1,500 workers at its Tarkwa mine.

The move also followed plans by Goldfields to shift from owner mining to contract mining.

The mining firm argued that the latter is more cost efficient compared to the former practice.

The court is however expected to hear the case on whether Goldfields is justified in the decision to lay off staff for resorting to contract mining, subsequently.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku & Fred Tettey Djagbanor/

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