An Industrial Relations Expert, Kofi Davor, has suggested that workers of Goldfields Ghana can proceed to court if they feel dissatisfied about results from the various labour arbitrations on their impasse with the management of the company.
According to him, the workers must engage their Chief Labour Officer over their concerns against Goldfields’ planned retrenchment exercise that will see at least 1,700 workers lose their jobs.
[contextly_sidebar id=”HGew39U0vgUm3duSz1CeOmxWz9EIkg54″]“If the Chief Labour Officer, in the words of the workers’ leaders has been misled into granting them the go ahead, then they have the responsibility to provide the appropriate date and information to the Chief Labour Officer that will enable it to make the best decision under the circumstances,” he said.
There is an ensuing impasse between management and staff of Goldfields Ghana Mine, as the company says it is changing its business module, and will be forced to lay off some workers.
Goldfields Ghana Limited told Citi Business News this week, that it will lay off about 1,500 workers this month, as part of measures to change its business model, and make the company profitable due to the relatively short lifespan of the mine.
But the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, Abdul Moomin Gbana, said the reasons given by Goldfields was inconsistent with the facts on the ground.
“Goldfields claims the life of the mine is 5 to 6 years, and based on the limited time, they cannot invest in mining fleet… It can actually run for a number of years and you don’t necessarily need to replace the fleets that Goldfields claims it wants to do. Records available to us indicates that, contrary to their claim of the life of the mine of 5-6 years, they have over 15 years of mine and so the question is, if your choice of contract mining is based on a limited life of mine and your own website projects 15 years, then, the question is, who are you misleading,” he said.
The workers have since petitioned parliament to look into the matter, but according to Mr. Kofi Davor, since the company appears to have received the go-ahead from the Chief Labor Officer to undertake the exercise, the workers can proceed to provide its counter information to the Chief Labour Officer for the decision to be overturned.
“If there is a basis to suspect that management is not being truthful, then workers have the right to call for that independent arbiter to verify what management is saying…It is important for the Chief Labour Officer to intervene in this matter at this stage, he said.”
He noted that the workers can also consider petitioning the National Labour Commission (NLC) over the matter, before proceeding to court subsequently if they feel dissatisfied about the outcome of the arbitration of the Chief Labour Officer, and the National Labour Commission (NLC).
“To the extent that the workers’ leaders even disagree with the position of the Chief Labour Officer, they can petition the National Labour Commission to intervene and deliver a ruling on that matter. Beyond that, even if there is a disagreement, the matter can still go to court. There are processes in terms of our national institutions to deal with this matter,” he said.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana