The Ghana Mineworkers Union has petitioned parliament over attempts by Goldfields Ghana to lay off about 1,500 workers and re-employ them on a contract basis.
According to the Union, the move by the company amounted to unfair labour practice.
[contextly_sidebar id=”0SuembILJIpcOVz0QpOcdeK9VGddRAbf”]The General Secretary of the Union, Prince William Ankrah who presented the petition, indicated that the basis for the company’s actions is unfounded and could result in the loss of revenue for many of the workers.
“Goldfields intends having its own way. We are a law-abiding union, we’ve had stability in our industry for many years. We deem it expedient to make sure that we present the petition to the honourable House so they understand the dynamics and seeing how best to address the issue…We are demanding that Goldfields cannot do what they intend doing by subjecting our members to a mining contract. Members will lose revenue streams,” he said.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who received the petition on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament, said the members of Parliament will study the petition and take the necessary action to ensure that the issue is amicably resolved.
Goldfields Ghana Limited told Citi Business News earlier 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.
Reacting to the development, the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, Abdul Moomin Gbana, said the reasons given by Goldfields were 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 indicate that, contrary to their claim of the life of the mine of 5-6 years, [it is over 15 years] 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.
This will be the second time in three years the mining firm has embarked on a massive retrenchment exercise after a 2014 exercise that saw some 400 of its workforce laid off.
Sacked workers to be reemployed
Meanwhile, the Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs of the company, David Johnson, has said that majority of the workers that will be laid off will be reemployed by the contractor who will take over mining activities of the mine.
“It’s important to add however that, we have done a similar exercise a year ago where over eighty percent of the retrenched workers were actually absorbed by the contractor, so it’s not the case that you leave your employees and that is the end of the story. We actually engaged the contractors to ensure that as many people as possible, are re-engaged by the contractors,” he said.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana