In the face of the falling world prices of gold, Ghana’s mineworkers are engaging managers in the extractive industry to protect workers’ interest.
General-Secretary of the General Mineworkers Union, Prince William Ankrah, says it has become critical for the union to avert what he describes as “the lazy management of option of laying workers off”.
The National Executive Committee of the Union has been meeting in Obuasi, Ashanti region to assess the state of the mining industry, whilst analyzing the impact of the dwindling gold price on State coffers.
Drop in gold price affects the foreign exchange earnings of the country.
According to the Ghana Chamber Mines, a dip in international gold prices in the first quarter of 2013, combined with the high cost of operations is leading companies to review their work plans and to cut operating cost.
Prince Ankrah noted that “in spite of the dwindling gold price, we can device other holistic approach looking at the entire cost structure of the business and see how we can cut beyond working numbers”.
With the exception of AngloGold Ashanti, mining firms in Ghana recorded favorable outlook in the past year.
The mineworkers however continue to agitate what union leaders say are wide disparities in industry salary scale, especially among expatriates and local hands.
The General Secretary observed that such salary gaps discourage maximum productivity at the workplace.
Prince Ankrah is not pleased with the posture of the National Labour Commission (NLC) in addressing grievances of mineworkers.
The Union, he says, has resolved to explore internal mechanisms in addressing the salary disparities.