Mine workers petition parliament over planned 1,500 lay-offs

Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 14th-december-2017 Time:  4:43:41 pm

Share this story:

The Mine Workers Union wants Parliament's intervention in Goldfields Ghana Limited's planned retrenchment that could affect as many as 1,700 workers.

General Secretary, Prince William Ankrah, led some 50 members of the Union to the forecourt of Parliament to present a petition.

He told Joy News' Parliamentary correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo, the petition drums home the point that the layoff would have a serious impact in mining communities.

It could, in turn, put Parliamentarians under pressure from families suffering from the retrenchment which is expected to start before Christmas.

Goldfields wants to cut its losses at its Tarkwa mines in the Western region because it claims the mine has a remaining lifespan of not more than six years.

If it maintains its 2,500 workers, it could run at a loss considering the returns it could get from the depleted mine.

Goldfields Ghana’s Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs, David Johnson, has said it has, therefore, changed its business model.

Instead of getting a new mining fleet at a high cost, it has engaged a contractor who already has a mining fleet to mine the Tarkwa concession.

The company, therefore, saves money because it doesn't have to make multi-million dollar investments in a mine that it does not expect to last long.

Goldfields has not been comfortable with the word retrenchment. Its management has explained, the workers to be relieved will be absorbed by the new contractor.

But the Mine Workers Union has described the planned layoffs as a "ruthless business option"

The five to six-year lifespan has been disputed. There are claims the Tarkwa mine could remain a gold-coughing piece of earth for 14 years.

The General Secretary of the Mine Workers Union said the union is not averse to resorting to legal action over the lay-offs. 

goldfields lay-off letter

Goldfields layoff letter

  What others are reading

  More in this section