The Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU) has raised alarm about growing incidence of violent attacks on security personnel at some mines in the country.
According to the group, the situation had been occasioned by wanton outsourcing of key functional areas to third parties, proliferation of all kinds of non-standard forms of employment, emergence of labour brokerage leading to disguised employment relationships, among others.
It has, therefore, called on the government and other stakeholders in the mining industry to probe the recent happenings and put in place a mechanism that protect the lives and employment status of workers.
A statement signed and issued in Accra yesterday by Abdul-MoominGbana, General Secretary of GMWU, further called on the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to fully enforce the Part 16 (Labour Inspection) of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) to enable the realisation of the full benefit of labour inspection in the country to forestall any future occurrence, and safeguard and protect the collective interest of all the actors.
Explaining the heightened insecurity and the urgent need for a more concerted action, it noted that the current business models of mining companies and their profiteering tendencies had had direct negative consequences on workers and other stakeholders in the value chain of mining in Ghana.
It recalled the case of a security officer employed by a third-party contractor named Protea Coin Ghana to work at Newmont Ahafo Mine and had gone missing since July 27 this year after attending to nature’s call in a nearby bush.
“This is because the toilet facility at his post and many of the security posts around Newmont Ahafo Mine has been out of use for months despite persistent complains from the security guards to Newmont Ghana officers at the site,” the statement added.
However, according to the Communications Manager of the Mine, Samuel Osei, a hunter found the security officer at midday on Sunday in a neighbouring forest reserve and brought him to the mine.
MrOseitold the Ghanaian Times that the security officer was currently assisting the police with their investigations on his disappearance while Newmont had arranged medical and psychological support for him.
Meanwhile, the statement further noted that two other security guards deployed at the Company’s Apensu dewatering pond were also abducted around 12:00a.m. midnight by six fully armed men with four guns and two machetes, took them hostage, manhandled and molested them and were subsequently found with their hands tied with rope in the bush.
“Similarly, barely a year ago, a number of our members in Protea Coin witnessed very horrendous incidents including Robert Coffie and Joshua Oppong who were attacked and shot which led to Joshua losing one eye whilst Robert sustained multiple injuries on the Newmont Ahafo site.
Again, on the same Newmont Ahafo site, Daniel OwusuSekyere and Mathew Nsoah both members of the Union, were also attacked with guns and cutlasses which led to Daniel sustaining multiple fractures on one leg whilst Mathew sustained several cutlass wounds on the head. Jacob Ayiko was also attacked by illegal miners during which he sustained multiple fractures on his right wrist and till date, he has metals planted in his wrist,” the statement outlined.
BY TIMES REPORTER