The Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU) has challenged mining companies in the country not to opt for the retrenchment of workers as the only option when they encounter problems with their operations.
Rather, it urged them to aspire to work out solutions to their challenges.
The association described the recent retrenchment exercise carried out by some mining companies in the country as unnecessary since there were best practices elsewhere for such companies to have learnt from.
“The lazy-man approach adopted by these mining companies must stop since this will not help the nation,” the National Chairman of the GMWU, Mr Kwarko-Mensah Gyakari, said.
He gave the challenge at the opening ceremony of the National Executive Council Meeting of the GMWU in Accra yesterday. The two-day conference brought together members and national executives of the various mining companies in Ghana.
The meeting will, among others, discuss the challenges the association had encountered as a result of the downsizing of workers at the various mines in recent times.
It was also to elicit the views of members and executives on how to address the problem of downsizing of mine workers.
AngloGold Ashanti recently confirmed that 3,100 employees of the company had been retrenched over the last two years.
Newmont Ghana Gold Limited as well as other mining companies also laid off a lot of mine workers early this year.
The reason for these high redundancy rates has been largely attributed to the low price of gold on the international market.
Mr Gyakari also cautioned the mining companies to desist from business outsourcing in their operations, noting that it helped to engender a situation where workers received very little pay for their services.
“Outsourcing in some departments in the mining companies is unnecessary since management tend to take advantage of the situation and pay workers meagre amounts,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Mr Gyakari has encouraged mine workers not to be perturbed by the low gold prices on the international market and their resultant effects, adding that that was not the first time such a situation had occurred.
The General Secretary of the GMWU, Prince William Ankrah, also called on the mining companies to plan and make projections for the future in order to avoid any eventualities.
He also called on the foreign mining firms in the country to close the gap between the remuneration of local workers and their foreign counterparts.
“We cannot keep quiet any longer over this egalitarian pay system in our sector,” Prince Ankrah said, contending that the issue could be solved either through dialogue or radical sustained labour agitations.
He also called for a new approach of using mining revenues to address infrastructural challenges in the mining communities.
Source: Daily Graphic