Business News of 2014-02-25

Newmont’s intended lay-off has no moral basis – Union

General Secretary of the Mines Workers Union, Prince William Ankrah says Newmont Ghana’s planned lay-off of about 600 employees by the end of the second quarter has “no moral basis”.

“Giving the reason that we have found in the one that was done last year, we find this lay out virtually disturbing and indeed I don’t see any moral basis …. …,”Mr. Ankrah stated.

Newmont Ghana revealed its intentions of laying off its workers by the end of the second quarter due to what it describes as “plan to ensure the continuous operation of its concessions in Ghana.”

A memo signed by the Regional Senior Vice President of Africa Region, Dave Schummer, attributed the intended dismissal to the fact that the Ahafo concession was beginning to experience the challenges that typically face an aging mine.

“Ore is deeper and of a lower grade. Hauling distances have increased, taxing equipment and fuel needs. Equipment in general has aged and requires larger sums of sustaining capital replacement. All these changes burden our cost position at Ahafo,” Mr. Schummer said.

But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Ankrah charged Newmont to come clean on the issue since there was more to the problem than what was being circulated. “We think that there is more to it…… we think that they ought to come clean so we can set the business on track.

“I am not very convinced as to where they are coming from. I think that Newmont needs to strip naked to look at the entire operations as to whether there is the need to cut workers,” he emphasized.

In 2013, 240 workers of Newmont Ghana were laid off due to low price of gold on the world market and the escalating cost of doing business in the last five years.

Meanwhile, President John Mahama revealed in Davos that government had failed to implement its windfall tax because the mining companies had threatened to lay-off workers if it did.

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