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Mine Workers Sue Goldfields
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The Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU) has filed a writ against Goldfields Ghana Limited, seeking to halt the company’s decision to enter into contract mining; but the application has been struck out for want of prosecution by an Accra high court.

The workers are in court contesting the mining giant’s decision, which will result in the layoff of some 1,500 employees of the company.

Although the company maintains that all the affected workers would be paid their full severance packages, and some others re-engaged, the union is livid about the decision to retrench the workers in the first place.

It subsequently sued the firm as the first defendant, with the Attorney General as the second defendant.

Lawyers for GMWU were expected to move their motion yesterday but the attention of the presiding judge, Mrs. Laurenda Owusu, was drawn to the fact that the AG was not served with a required 30-day notice per Section 10 of the State Proceedings Act 1998 (Act 555).

She subsequently struck the application out for want of prosecution and adjourned the matter to February 8, 2018 to allow counsels for the mine workers to re-file the application and serve the AG with the 30-day notice.

The Ghana Mine workers Union and Goldfields Ghana have since December last year been trying to find a common ground over a decision by the company to change its operations from an owner binder to contract mining due to changes in the firm’s mining fleet.

The company cited unreasonable wage demands by the union, aging fleet, life of mine and low gold prices as reasons for the proposed retrenchment of some of the workers.

But the GMWU has described the reasons for the impending layoffs as “most unfortunate, mischievous and ethically disastrous.”

The union maintains that the firm has enough life of mine; and a claim of fall in gold prices could not be cited as reasons for the decision.

The union is also livid about the growing income inequality at Goldfields, stating that the least paid employee of the firm must accrue the monthly salary for approximately eight years to get to that of the executive vice president’s.
Source: Daily Guide

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