AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi Mineworkers Wives’ Association, an affiliate of the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union, has asked the company to reconsider its decision to lay-off a significant percentage of its mine workers.
The company has been considering a proposal to lay-off a significant percentage of its 8,000-strong workforce due to factors like falling gold price on the international market as well the ballooning cost of production that has eaten deep into its profit margins.
Members of the Association contend that the decision will have averse effects on the local economy of Obuasi, which is already stumbling from the harsh economic conditions in the country at the moment.
Mrs. Doris Appiah-Kubi, resident of the Association, argued that laying-off workers who had worked in the company for many years will only force such workers to go into illegal mining.
“This situation will further jeopardise the stability of the mine as well as security of staff. “Even if this downsizing must be done, it should be one cautiously with a human face,” she said.
Mrs. Appiah-Kubi was addressing well-attended communication meeting between the association and management of AngloGold Ashanti at Obuasi Sports Club.
She called for a review of the renumeration package for workers, to reflect current economic realities: “Improving salary levels will motivate staff to work harder and improve productivity” she explained.
Mrs. Appiah Kubi expressed the support of the association to the current reforms being undertaken by management of the company to turn around the mine fortunes.
Mr. Mark Morcombe, the Senior Vice President of AngloGold Ashanti appealed to the company’s stakeholders to assist in the transformation of the once-prized Obuasi operation.
“Transforming the mine successfully would not only make the operation a major gold producer but also position it to generate more revenue to meet commitment to shareholders and other stakeholders, especially’ the people in the communities and the government as a whole,”
Morcombe attributed the poor performance of the mine to a combination of poor underground infrastructure, escalating cost of production and falling price of gold -but was full of hope that with support of stakeholders the mine could soon be transformed.
He explained that the company’s transformation strategy hinges on reversing the decline of gold production while at the same time increasing and sustaining production of the precious metal, re-fixing its underground infrastructure, constructing infrastructure to enable the operation to access more ore from the Obuasi deeps, and improving underground processes and gold recoveries at the huge Sulphide Treatment Plant at Sanso, near Obuasi.
He advised miners’ wives to build a stronger foundation for the mine to operate soundly and profitably, since their role is key to building a new culture that radically improves the way things are done on the mine.
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