The leadership of Ghana Mine Workers Union is meeting the Minister of Mines, Land and Resources as well as Minister of Labour and Employment over the latest impasse at Tarkwa Mines that has led to arrest of some workers.
The General Secretary of the Union, Prince William Ankrah speaking with Kasapa Fm confirmed the arrest of seven workers of Goldfields Ghana limited after a demonstration Monday morning.
The irate protectors blocked access to the mine preventing other workers from going to work.
Four people were injured in the process after a joint police and military team had to intervene with tear gas to disperse the crowd and maintain law and order. Mr Ankrah called on the workers to calm down since the leadership of the Union are working for the right things to be done for the workers.
According to Kasapa Fm’s Western Regional Correspondent, Emmanuel Ohene Gyan, two of the workers who were injured in the process have been treated and discharged.
Two others are still being treated at the Tarkwa General Hospital.
The workers are protesting management’s decision to opt for contract mining, which is expected to result in huge retrenchments.
In December 2017, Goldfields Ghana Limited revealed it was going to lay off almost 2000 workers as part of measures to change its business model and make the company profitable due to the relatively short lifespan of the mine.
But the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, Abdul Moomin Gbana, at the time said the reasons given by Goldfields were inconsistent with the facts on the ground.
“Goldfields claims the life of the mine is 5 to 6 years, and based on the limited time, they cannot invest in mining fleet…it can actually run for a number of years and you don’t necessarily need to replace the fleets that Goldfields claims it wants to do.”
“Records available to us indicates that, contrary to their claim of the life of the mine of 5-6 years, they have over 15 years of mine and so the question is, if your choice of contract mining is based on a limited life of mine and your own website projects 15 years, then, the question is, who are you misleading,” he argued.
This is the second time in three years that the mining firm has embarked on a massive retrenchment exercise.
A 2014 exercise saw some 400 of its workforce laid off.