Newmont drags mine workers to labour commission

Citi Business News has gathered Mining Giant Newmont Ghana ltd has dragged the Mine Workers Union to the National Labour Commission over allegations of an intended strike by the workers.

The Mining Giant had called for discussions with the union on its restructuring and retrenchment plans of which it intends to lay off about 600 workers.

The Mine Workers Union on the other hand argues it will not have any such discussions until salaries have been renegotiated.

According to the Union, renegotiation was due several months ago, but Newmont had failed to have any such discussions.

General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, Prince William Ankrah tells Citi Business News “we had other important things to discuss, but they wanted to prioritize with other issues and we made it very clear that in a competing order of preference, we think there are other issues of wage adjustment and other service conditions that had elapsed.”

According William Ankrah “Newmont said we had threatened them with a strike action, obviously, we wrote to them that we have conditions of service to review with you (Newmont), so come to the table and let’s negotiate the conditions of service which had elapsed.”

He went on to add that “in order of priority, they wanted to deal with other issues. We told them we don’t prioritize that, because the contract had elapsed and by law we need to make sure we are back to the table to review it.”

According to the Mine Workers Union Secretary-General, Newmont “kept dragging their feet and along the line we tried to sensitize our members regarding any eventualities. In the process, they went to inform the Commission that we were threatening a strike action.”

Prince William Ankrah says the Labour Commission early this week directed that Newmont renegotiates conditions of service before any discussions of retrenchment can be held.

“We went to commission to make our case clear that we were not threatening anybody with a strike action. We were only trying to brief our members to get ready for any internal shocks giving the fact that Newmont is just refusing to renegotiate on the terms of contract that had elapsed. So the commission directed that within seven days we should go back to the table and commence the process.”

By:  Kwaku Anim Boadu/