The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, has said laying-off workers now is not an option that has come up for discussion yet by any of the companies under the Chamber. He said it is not an easy option to choose and that it is considered only if it is the last option that can solve their challenge.
Koney said the resources required in training mine workers, coupled with the packages that are given to the staff as compensation when they are being layed-off make such decisions a difficult one to make. He said this is one of the major reasons for which most of the mining companies are still holding on to their staff despite the difficult challenges they are facing in line with their operations in Ghana.
Mr Koney was speaking with members of the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA), a group of journalists with the common interests of advocating the interests of businesses in Ghana. This was at a media sensitization workshop organized by the Chamber in collaboration with JBA in Accra last week.
Industry practitioners and stakeholders have recently entertained the fear that the ongoing challenges facing the mining industry is likely to cause most of them to effect redundancy; which would mean that most workers would be relieved of their responsibilities.
But the CEO of the mining coys says mass staff lay-off has not come to the table of any mining company for discussion. He does not also see that coming up anytime soon.
This according to him is due to the fact that the companies have over the years invested a lot of money and resources in building the capacity of their workers, and it is time the companies benefit from that investment.
“Laying-off workers come along with difficulties, redundancy packages and compensations payment, and so on, so the companies would not lay off workers now despite the prevailing challenges they are currently facing,” he stated.
He lamented the fact that mining companies in Ghana are overburdened with high taxes and frequent power outages which has resulted in increased cost in production, faulty machines, among others.
He said these difficulties will not permit them to add the payment of redundancy packages and compensation as another cost element.
He said despite the challenges most of the mining companies are still undertaking several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to help the communities in which they operate. They compliment this by also driving investments to the communities. They build the capacities of the people in the communities for sustainable livelihoods, respect for cultural differences, among others.