News

Mine workers issue ultimatum to gov’t

Business News of Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Miners9

The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) has given the government a year’s ultimatum to reconstruct the deplorable road between Tarkwa and Bogoso in the Western Region. `

According to the miners, they would withdraw their services from those areas if the government failed to heed their request.

The union explained that the road which led to mining centres had deteriorated to a point where it was near-impossible to travel on.

Prince William Ankrah, the General Secretary of the GMWU, who made this known, said the union was also concerned that in spite of the huge deposits of bauxite and manganese in the Awaso and Nsuta areas, the minerals were under-exploited.

Challenges

Prince Ankrah was speaking at a national executive council meeting of the GMWU. He said the union, together with the Ghana Chamber of Mines, had appealed to the government to reconstruct the western rail line as a matter of priority to facilitate the haulage of bauxite and manganese to the Takoradi Port.

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The theme for the two-day meeting was “70 Years of Playing a Progressive Role to Promote a Just and Equitable Society”. The meeting also marked the launch of the 70th anniversary celebration of the GMWU.

Prince Ankrah said it was regrettable that 4,000 employees in the mining industry were laid off in 2013. He said the massive redundancy exercise could have been avoided if captains of industry had ensured prudent spending in such areas as procurement and acquisition of new mines through mergers and outright purchases.

‘‘We, however, take consolation in the fact that in recent times the Minerals Commission has stepped up implementation of the policy on localisation of industry as it seeks to stem the growing tide of domination by expatriates,’’ he said.

Mining fund

He said in two different resolutions, the union had called for the establishment of a mining community development fund, into which 25 per cent of mining receipts would be lodged and used to finance development projects in the catchment communities.

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Economic situation

The National Chairman of the union, Mr Mensah Kwarko Gyakari, expressed concern about attempts by some of the mining companies to take undue advantage of the current economic situation to exploit members of the union.

He said in view of this, the management of the union had taken Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL), operators of the Ahafo and Akyem gold mines, to the National Labour Commission (NLC) for laying off some of its workers without recourse to laid- down processes and procedures.