Goldfields Retrenchment: GMWU threatens nationwide strike on March 13

The Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU) is set to embark on a nationwide strike action on Tuesday March 13, 2018, Deputy Secretary of the group, Abdul Mamunie Barnah has hinted.

Mr Barnah warns the strike action will be across all mining industries in the country, to signal stakeholders and government on the “inhumane” treatment given to workers of Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa Mines.

“On the 13th March, we are going to have a strike action across all the mining companies in this country. And that will send a strong signal to stakeholders involved,” he said.

He emphasised that “a series of activities have been lined up from March 13 to the 27th to influence management of Goldfields Ghana Limited and stakeholders to reconsider the retrenchment being undertaken.”

The Deputy Secretary of the Union, Abdul Mamunie Barnah in an interview with Beachfmonline alleged that Goldfields Ghana Limited, upon the ruling by an Accra High Court last Friday, has resorted to get agitating workers endorse a one month contract agreement under duress.

According to him, the company hired some armed military men to coerce workers into signing those documents.

Post the ruling of the court on the 2nd of March, Goldfields proceeded on a rather ruthless tangent to execute the ruling of the court, to the extent that armed military men accompanied the management of Goldfields to serve termination letters on these employees. This is what has characterized the Tarkwa Mines.

“Indeed it was our intention that our members would resist the signing of these redundancy letters. But they were coerced by the presence of the heavily armed military men to sign them. The unfortunate aspect is that they sign onto a document they have no clue of the content; what the terms and conditions of those documents are”, he retorted.

Background

Goldfields Ghana Limited, last year announced its decision to undertake a redundancy exercise which was likely to affect majority of the company’s 2,300 workers at the its Tarkwa mines.

This, according to the company, was to allow them to restructure their operations, moving from ‘owner mining’ to ‘contract mining’.

GMWU has however resisted the move, and sought legal redress at the court. An injunction was sought by the leadership, restraining the company from serving redundancy letters to workers. But Her Ladyship Lorrinda Owusu, who presided over the case filed by the GMWU, held that the company stands to suffer greatly if the application was granted. She noted, workers were not in a position to compensate Goldfields if the application was granted.

GMWU have since filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal and a stay of execution pending the hearing of the appeal after an Accra High Court last Friday 2 March dismissed an interlocutory application by the union to stop a planned redundancy exercise by GGL.

Kojo Ennimil Arthur|Beachfmonline.com|Ghana

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