Newmont Mine Workers Union to protest over wages and allowances

NewmontMembers of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) of Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL), Ahafo Mine have demonstrated against the Management of the company for their unpaid wages and allowances.

They have therefore called for the replacement of Mr. Pascal Kambonnaba, the Company’s Vice-President for Human Resource in the African Region, for lack of trust, integrity, respect and concern for them.

According to them, Mr. Kambonnaba who is the lead negotiator for Newmont in its labour wages, salaries and allowance issues with the Union, has not only failed to exhibit the needed commitment for a fair and successful negotiation within the context of their Collective Agreement (CA), but “simply does consider their interest and welfare as equally paramount”

The protestors, comprising about 300 Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU) of GMWU and about 700 branch members of GMWU (junior staff) made the call on Tuesday afternoon during a peaceful demonstration in front of the NGGL’s Plant Site at Kenyase in the Asutifi North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The peaceful protest aimed at registering their displeasure about Management’s inconsistency and failure, since November 2013 to date, to arrive at a firm and satisfactory conclusion, on the issues of wages and allowances, based on the letter and spirit of the CA with them.

They held placards with various inscriptions like “Pascal enough of this trickeries”, “Pascal, go away, for you lack trust, integrity and respect”, “Management! Please don’t forget to act with trust, integrity and respect”, “Note! It is difficult to work safely with frustrated mindset” and “For the sake of peace, don’t temper with our housing and other benefits”.

Dr. Prince William Ankrah, General Secretary of GMWU who spoke on their behalf, emphasized that their agitation was between them and their employers, and not against government, because they were pursuing a legitimate cause to be paid “what is due them”.

Dr. Ankrah stressed that Newmont’s refusal to pay the workers appropriately was economically a disservice to the nation because if they were religiously remunerated according to the CA, it would result in the payment of higher income tax revenue by the workers to the country.

He noted that the current wage policy situation being applied by Newmont amounted to” a selective justice system,” because the employees’ payment levels   were tilted in favour of certain categories of staff to the detriment of the GMWU members.

The GMWU General Secretary pointed out that there was a road map about the issues agreed upon, but that was not being followed by Newmont’s Management since their position now was a tricky agreement to the disadvantage of the GMWU members.

Dr. Ankrah, therefore, described Newmont Management’s current offer to them as “useless because it is not in our interest”.

He however, appealed to the workers to exercise restraint and accordingly continue to follow their respective and prescribed schedules at work, while the Union leadership remained committed to pursuing their interest through the legitimate processes for acceptable agreement and conclusion for them.

Mr. Frederick Addai Opoku, local chair of the PMSU, recounted the trends of unsuccessful negotiations since November 2013, saying that as a result, the Unions had exhausted their patience with the Management of the Company because the latter did not want to adhere to the terms of the CA.

“The Unions are fed up with these tricks from Management, and shall therefore advise themselves” because “Management have done their wages and salaries adjustments for 2014 and 2015, and have since paid themselves aside their fat purses,” he stressed.

Source: GNA

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