Business News of 2013-12-04

GMWU threatens to withdraw members from mines

The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) has threatened to withdraw its members from the mines for fear of being attacked by illegal miners, following government’s withdrawal of state security personnel.

The Union is unhappy with the government’s unilateral decision to withdraw the military and other state security personnel from the mining concessions of major mining companies.

Government decided to provide security for the industry when it became the target for indiscriminate scramble by illegal miners aided by the Chinese and other Ghanaian collaborators.

“The least that the GMWU expected government to do was not to add to the already burdened industry to aggravate an already turbulent development in the mining sector,” said a statement by General Secretary of the Union, Prince William Ankrah.

The mining industry is heavily challenged with the falling prices of gold and other metals on the international market, coupled with other internal hindrances culminating in the threat of over 4,000 mine workers likely to lose their job.

The GMWU believes government’s decision is untimely, unwelcome and would eventually be counter-productive. “The Union, in our humble and considered opinion, would like to, on behalf of the over 20,000 members who are all employees of this subsector urge government to reconsider this policy decision,” the statement read.

The mineworkers are appealing to the government to allow the status-quo to remain until such a time that the Chinese and other foreign-led “galamsey” menace is eliminated or brought under control “because our intelligence indicates that the perpetrators are lurking around to strike again”.

This, the Union believes will safeguard the safety of mineworkers who continue to strive to work diligently to contribute their quota to the nation’s development.

“However, if government sticks to its guns and remains adamant, the Union may withdraw labour for fear of attacks and reprisals from the illegal miners on its cherished members,” the statement noted.