Reopen AGA Obuasi Mine to create jobs – GMWU

 Aerial view of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine

Aerial view of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine

The Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU) of the Trades Union Congress of Ghana (TUCG) has urged the government to expedite efforts at reopening the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine to create jobs and boost the  economy.
The Obuasi mine has been under care and maintenance over a period of time, after a downsizing programme that has led to loss of jobs.

According to the union, the closure of the mine is a major source of worry for stakeholders in the mining industry, given the contribution of the Obuasi mine to the economy of Ghana.

The General Secretary of GMWU, Prince William Ankrah, expressed this sentiment at the midyear national executive council meeting of the GMWU held at New Abirem in the Eastern Region on Thursday.

“The potential to create employment for the teeming unemployed masses as a more sustainable strategy to eliminating galamsey and its consequences on our nation cannot be under estimated,” Mr Ankrah said.

He commended the government for clamping down on illegal mining, adding that “let me hasten to add that equally important to ensuring that the practice does not resurface is the need to prioritise the provision of alternative economic livelihood programmes in the communities worse affected.”

The general secretary of the GMWU expressed concern on “increasing trend of non-standard forms of employment” including fix-term contract employment, casualisation and agency labour which had crept into the industry.

Mr Ankrah said that was against the labour Act 2003(Act 651) and claimed that “it is just another neo-liberal attack to weaken unions and profiteer on workers by stealing their earnings and benefits through weak contract and precarious work arrangements.”

He called on the government to “take a second look at the current income tax regime and do a critical review to lessen the tax burden on workers.”
Mr Ankrah also expressed concern about infrastructure deficit in mining communities, despite the enormous contribution of mining to the  direct domestic revenue raking in GH₵ 1.6 billion in 2016.

The Chairman of GMWU, Mensah Kwarko-Gyarkari, also expressed worry about the tendency of employers converting long term permanent employment into short term contracts and undermining collective bargaining.

The chairman noted a “politicisation of the public service” saying that it had a tendency to defeat the political neutrality of the service.

The Senior Human Resource Manager of Newmont  Akyem Mines, Emmanuel Ofosu -Yeboah urged a closer collaboration between employer and union to enhance peaceful and harmonious  industrial climate to boost productivity.

The Deputy Secretary General of the TUCG, Joshua Ansah, in a fraternal message expressed the resolve of the Congress to help resolve industrial disputes.




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