Business News of 2014-05-03

Mineworkers to interrogate further redundancy

The Mineworkers’ Union used the occasion of May Day to assure its members the union will deeply interrogate any future redundancy notice from mining companies, to ensure those companies do not hide behind gold prices to reduce numbers when there are major areas of waste that impact hugely on costs.

In a circular signed by its General Secretary Prince William Ankrah on May Day, it said although the fall in the price of gold resulted in a considerable reduction of the number of mineworkers in the various mines, particularly the gold producers, the union ensured that those companies complied with the various Collective Agreement (CA) provisions -- particularly those related to redundancy and severance compensation.

The Union urged the various companies operating in the mining industry not to take the present industrial peace and harmony for granted, but should work hard toward ensuring that mine workers are treated with the dignity they deserve.

The leadership of the Union assured its members of its preparedness to engage with mining companies to ensure that their remuneration matches up with their skills.

In a related development, President John Mahama addressed Organised Labour on May Day and said inasmuch as he has an obligation toward ensuring the welfare of Labour, a careful balancing act is needed in doing so to avoid depriving the rest of the country of needed resources for development.

President Mahama told Organised Labour on May Day that: "As a social democrat, I have the utmost respect for the right of our gallant workers to negotiate a living wage. But as President, I have an obligation, too -- to the rest of our population to ensure that the economy of this country is protected".

Many public sector workers were shocked when President Mahama announced at the May Day parade that discussions at the tripartite committee have hit a deadlock.

President Mahama said: “I was informed to my regret that we were unable to conclude negotiations on a new minimum wage and reach agreement on public sector base pay. The deadlock that we are currently experiencing is a reflection of how critical wage pressures have become in respect to turning around the deficit in our budget.

“I have an obligation to ensure that there are enough resources left over to enable the other 24.4 million Ghanaians who are not public sector workers to have access to quality health care, education, clean drinking water and the numerous other commitments the state is obliged to provide.”