The Ghana Chamber of Mines is optimistic that the strike action embarked upon by workers of Gold Fields Ghana will end soon, but it is likely to affect gold output at the mines.
According to the Chamber, both parties must find immediate solution to the dispute.
Workers at Gold Fields’ Tarkwa and Damang mines went on an industrial strike today April 3, 2013 at 11.00am which has led to halt of gold production.
The two mines contribute over 40% of gold output for the whole Gold Fields group.
Dr Toni Aubynn, CEO, Ghana Chamber of Mines, tells ghanabusinessnews.com in a telephone interview that the halt in production “can affect gold output for now but they can double up to meet the target” if the strike ends as soon as possible.
Dr Aubynn, who was a former employee of Gold Fields was however surprised that the management has threaten to dismiss the workers for going on strike.
Gold Fields in a statement said it holds the view that the industrial action is “illegal and unprotected” adding that “this could expose participating workers to the no-work, no-pay rule as well as possible dismissal.”
The Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMU) and its affiliates, the Professional Managerial Staff Union and the Branch Union, on April 2, 2013 presented Gold Fields management with a number of demands, and threatened industrial action should the company not respond favourably to the demands within 24 hours.
According to Gold Fields, the demands relate to a dispute in the determination of profit share payments to employees; the unconditional reinstatement of an employee who was dismissed following an internal disciplinary procedure; dissatisfaction with certain management structures; the removal of certain members of senior management; concerns about catering delivery models; and allegations of discrimination between expatriate and Ghanaian employees.
However, Dr Aubynn said the Chamber will intervene if both parties fail to have an amicable solution to the issue.
Gold Fields says it is “analyzing and investigating the demands as a matter of urgency” adding that the company appeals to all employees to maintain law and order while this process is underway as the safety and security of all employees are of primary importance.
By Ekow Quandzie