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14.01.2009 General News

GFG reacts to the demonstration by ex–employees of Gold Fields Ghana – Tarkwa Mine

By The Statesman
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The management of Gold Fields Ghana Limited has condemned the actions of the ex-employees of the GFG - Tarkwa Mine in an attempt to tarnish the company's image.

In a statement signed and issued by the management of Gold Fields Ghana revealed that, on Monday 22nd December, 2008, a group believed to be ex-employees of Gold Fields Ghana Tarkwa Mine staged a demonstration at the main access way to the Tarkwa Mine premises, with their claims which include the wrongful dismissal and alleged unpaid accrued interest on their provident fund.

These persons, according to the management, were employees laid off in 1999 due to a fundamental changes in the overall operations of the mine, from the underground mining which was in operation from 1993-1999 to an open-pit mining.

As a result of these change, they indicated that, a scaling down of the Company"s workforce was required.

GFG, in close consultations with the Ghana Mine Workers Union, followed the due legal process of retrenchment and redundancy prescribed by the Labour Law and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) then in force.

Each affected employee was duly paid a compensation agreed with the Ghana Mine Workers Union and in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Law and the CBA.

Years after receiving their compensation payments, as indicated in the statement, a section of the retrenched ex-workers raised issues with the process and payments they had already received.

 The group subsequently initiated a court action against GFG on some five claims, including their current claim for payment of interest on Provident Fund contributions, these claims were each dismissed by the High Court. 

Having failed in the Courts, the management noted that, the group has now resorted to unorthodox and illegal means, including demonstrations and roadblocks attempting to hold GFG to release for the payment of further sums.

In view of these, the management wishes to state the following: that, GFG is under no obligation to make any payments to the group. Their claims are groundless and without merit, which has already been confirmed by the Courts in their decisions.

The management further expressed its willingness to consider providing assistance to a development project that the ex-workers group may by themselves undertake, and expresses serious concerns at the acts of the ex-workers who have no valid legal claim against the company.

On the other hand, the management of GFG has made its position on the matter clear to the group, the Western Regional Minister and other opinion leaders in the area, and has therefore condemned the actions of these ex-workers in resorting to unjustified and unlawful methods calculated to tarnish the good reputation of the company.

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