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13.10.2008 General News

Ex-workers of Goldfields storm Minister`s office…for allegedly dilly-dallying over their grievances

By Alfred Adam, Sekondi - Ghanaian Chronicle

Over 650 ex-workers of the Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL), last week Thursday, stormed the premises of the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC), to ascertain from Regional Minister, Mr. Anthony Evans Amoah, the state of negotiations with the management of Goldfields, about entitlements due them.

The workers went to the RCC because of their claim that the Minister was dilly-dallying over the case.

Goldfields Ghana Limited terminated the appointments of the ex-workers in 1999, following the closure of the Tarkwa underground mine. Since then, the ex-workers have been battling the company, for what they claim was wrongful termination of their appointment, without recourse to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Though management of Goldfields came out to explain that the company would consider the re-opening of the Tarkwa underground mine, provided it was economically viable, the workers disagreed insisting it was viable.

Not satisfied with the position taken by the company, to re-open the underground mine, the ex-workers petitioned the Regional Minister to intervene in the impasse, to ensure that the company met their demands.

The demands of the ex-workers were that Goldfields should pay their full entitlements due them, and pay interest on their Providence Fund, invested by the company for four years as well. The Regional Minister later agreed to mediate.

But, speaking to the media, after the ex-workers had stormed the premises of the RCC, the Chairman of the ex-workers, Mr. William Attenkah, accused the minister of reneging on his promise.

According to Attenkah, it was over a year now, when the minister made the intervention, but up to date, they had not heard anything from him.

According to the Chairman, the executive of the ex-workers have had several meetings with the minister, concerning their demands, but he had done nothing to prove that he would champion their cause.

Attenkah recounted to the media how some of the ex-workers had died as a result of the wrongful termination of their appointments, and failure of Goldfields to pay entitlements due them.

After minutes of noise-making at the premises of the RCC, the Regional Minister called into his office the executives of the ex-workers, and had a closed-door meeting with them.

The minister failed to speak to the media after several attempts.

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