Tarkwa (W/R), Dec. 15, GNA - Workers of Anglogold Ashanti (Iduapriem) Limited, near Tarkwa, in the Western Region embarked on an illegal strike action on Monday morning to demand additional bonus days besides the existing bonus day scheme. The workers eventually went back to work after five hours, following a series of consultations between Management and the Branch Union. This gave Management an opportunity to look into their grievance. These were contained in a Press Release signed by the Mr David Kwasi Renner, Managing Director, Anglogold Ashanti, Iduapriem Mine.
It said the reason for the unfortunate action, according to the workers, was a demand for additional bonus days, besides the days already earned under the existing bonus scheme, as a result of a similar award received by the workers of the company's sister operation at Obuasi. The release said, given the cordial relationship that existed between Management and the entire workforce, Management found the industrial action unfortunate, because the leaders had not exhausted the existing channels of communication before the workers embarked on the strike action.
According to the Managing Director, the Branch Union had previously made a passionate appeal to Management for a "top up" of their earned bonus for the year, 2005, which was under consideration. He said Management had at no time communicated that there was "no money" to pay bonus earned up till the end of November 2005, neither had Management indicated whether or not they would pay any additional discretionary bonus.
Mr Renner said, following several hours of discussions, as a good will gesture, "an additional 30 days payment" is being made across board for all employees. He, however, stressed that the gesture was in no way related to the illegal industrial action, as their request was already under consideration and that the workforce must not misconstrue the payment as a precedent for future actions. He added that, Management was always prepared to discuss issues with workers' representatives in an open and cordial manner, as had always been the case, through the appropriate legitimate channels for a harmonious and peaceful industrial relations atmosphere to prevail. The Managing Director emphasized the illegality of the strike action and indicated that similar actions would not be condoned in the future.