Union commends government for creating Ghana Integrated Aluminum Corporation

Accra, Aug. 13, GNA –
The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union has commended government for the creation of the
Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation to oversee the exploration
and mining of bauxite in the Atiwa, Nyinahin and Awaso reserves.

The Union also
commended President Akufo-Addo for inaugurating the Board of Directors of the
Company, which had paved way for structures to be put in place for full
operations.

The Union said the
Corporation would help in the repayment of the Syndicated two billion dollar
Loan from the Chinese Government.

“This massive state
project could positively impact the Union’s membership base with a strategic
prioritization of recruitment and focused engagement with the stakeholders”.

This was contained
in a statement signed by Mr Prince William Ankrah, the General Secretary of the
Union and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra after the National Executive
Meeting in Obuasi on the positives and challenges of the industry.

He said even though
the initiative was laudable, the Union urged government to engage with civil
societies concern on environmental issues to the project for amicable
understanding.

Mr Ankrah said
another refreshing development for the Union was the resumption of operations
of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited which experienced maintenance programme
culminating into critical turnaround initiatives, putting the mine back on
track to deliver on its mandate.

Mr Ankrah said
another positive development for the industry was the current surge in the
prices of gold on the international market.

According to
kitco.com, the price of gold averaged between $1,100/oz and $1200/oz for almost
half a decade until the first quarter of 2018; which made most actors
particularly investors quite cautious on investment into the industry.

However, in the
first half of 2018 gold prices began a positive surge on the back of the
US-China trade war brouhaha from an average of $1331.67/oz in January to over
$1500/oz in August 2019 to the current average of $1457.02/oz.

He stated that given
these positive development, core activities of the industry like mining,
exploration, processing and other related projects were picking up albeit
cautiously, leading to new jobs being created with the potential of more to be
created.

He said the Union
expressed satisfaction with the introduction of Wage Adjustment, an innovative
intervention that had impacted salary negotiations, linking productivity and
performance to employee total rewards management.

Mr Ankrah stressed
that the robustness and scientific nature of the model, compared to the
previous laborious open-market approach to salary negotiations have been
reduced from an average of one to six months to about three days to two weeks
of negotiations giving the Union and management space to concentrate and
innovate around productivity and performance.

On challenges facing
the Union, he said there were some disturbing happenings in the industry
including the unbridled outsourcing of all manner of projects by the mining
companies that affected their operations.

He said given the
cheap nature of outsourced projects, mining companies were given all manner of
excuses to profiteer through outsourcing and fixed term contract employment to
the detriment of workers, communities and the Government.

Mr Ankrah said the
Union was concerned about the recent feud between government and the Power
Distribution Services culminating into the suspension of the Agreement between
them, urging government to quicken the pace of its investigations on the issue
to chart the way forward.

GNA

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