RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC)
OF THE GHANA MINEWORKERS’ UNION OF GTUC AT THE END OF ITS
MEETING IN SUNYANI 29-31 JULY 2009
At a session of the National Executive Council of the Ghana Mineworkers Union of the GTUC held 29-31 July 2009, at the Eusbett Hotel in Sunyani, the Council (NEC) took note and resolved as follows:
1. SALARY INEQUALITIES
The National Executive Council has taken a serious view of the wide salary inequalities existing between expatriates/some top Ghanaian management and other staff in the mining industry. In 2007, a research conducted by the African Labour Research Network noted that “a common feature of the wage structure of Gold Mining Companies is the huge income inequalities”.
Analysis indicates that the remuneration of AngloGold Ashanti Executives is 289 times as high as the lowest mineworker who risks his life on the job. In the same vein an executive of Gold Fields earns 201 times the income of the lowest paid mineworker.
In AngloGold Ashanti, the minimum salary of a mineworker is US$262.00 per month which is about 340 times the salary of the highest paid executive in Ghana.
In AngloGold Ashanti, the average expatriate salary is US$19,586.00 per month compared to the Ghanaian senior officer who earns US$711.00 per month doing the same or similar job.
Again, in AngloGold Ashanti an average rent allowance of US$15,000.00 per annum is paid to top Ghanaian Management staff in Gold House, Accra. Meanwhile, the Management of AngloGold Ashanti continues to drag its feet in our effort to negotiate a fair rent allowance for non accommodated unionized members at its Obuasi and Iduapriem mine sites.
Between 2007 and 2009, some management staff in the industry, (including Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti) have had their emoluments adjusted by 100% whilst a 24.5% increase demand by unionized workers over a three year period to bring the minimum basic pay of the mineworker to US$500.00 is considered “outrageous, unrealistic and unsustainable”.
The above picture is seriously untenable and cannot be tolerated by the Ghana Mineworkers Union of GTUC any longer. Accordingly, the Ghana Mineworkers Union will use every means at its disposal to ensure fairness and equity in the reward landscape in the mining industry in Ghana.
2. PROLONGED 2009 WAGE/SALARY NEGOTIATIONS
The National Executive Council has taken note of the long and protracted 2009 Wage/Salary negotiations involving the Ghana Mineworkers Union of GTUC and the two South African based mining companies namely, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields Ghana Limited due to their insensitive, selfish, parochial interest and lack of social equity conscience.
The National Executive Council thereby mandates the leadership of the Ghana Mineworkers Union of GTUC to use any means at its disposal including nationwide miners (including mining services companies) strike action to press home its demands by the close of August 2009.
The situation where expatriates occupy positions which can be competently occupied by Ghanaian can no longer be tolerated. The National Executive Council therefore endorses the efforts being made by the Government at the Minerals Commission to address the issue.
The National Executive Council further calls upon the regulatory bodies concerned with expatriation to seriously monitor the influx of expatriates into the industry and that the Ghana Mineworkers Union shall resist any attempt to bring in any expatriate whose skills are available in the country.
4. INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE MINING COMMUNITIES
The National Executive Council is saddened by the deplorable road network and infrastructural deficit in the mining communities and therefore reiterates its earlier calls on government and the Mining Companies to tackle these problems. The National Executive Council is particularly concerned about the state of the Tarkwa-Ayanfuri, Tarkwa-Huni-Valley, Prestea-Bogoso, Tarkwa and Obuasi urban roads etc.
5. OIL FIND
The National Executive Council has followed the debate on how our dear nation would benefits from the oil find. In this regard, the National Executive Council calls on government to make available details of the oil agreement to the Ghanaian public as part of the tenets underpinning good governance. The National Executive Council further calls on stakeholders to ensure that the Environmental, Health and Safety concerns as well as Social Responsibilities are adequately addressed.
6. ESCROW ACCOUNT
The National Executive Council is concerned with the situation whereby mines fold up without their contractual obligations to their employees. In this regard the National Executive Council recommends to government to legislate the establishment of an escrow account similar to the reclamation bonds which mining companies are required to post as part of their legal requirement in operating a mine to cater for employees benefits in the event of unforeseen mine closures.
7. GHANA CONSOLIDATED DIAMONDS (GCD) AKWATIA
The National Executive Council regrets that employees of Ghana Consolidated Diamonds have not been paid for the past two (2) years and therefore appeals to government to speed up the divestiture implementation programme and make available monies from the consolidated fund to pay employees their outstanding severance and other entitlements, to ameliorate the sufferings and pains that these employees and their families are subjected to.
8. SUSTAINABILITY OF GHANAIAN OWNED COMPANIES/CONTRACTORS
The National Executive Council considers the presence of the two Ghanaian owned mining contracting companies, namely, Mining and Building Contractors based in Obuasi and Engineers and Planners based in Tarkwa as strategic partners in the Ghanaian business empowerment agenda being advocated by the government. The Council therefore recommends to AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields Ghana Limited respectively to ensure their continuous presence in the two operations.
9. RATIFICATION OF ILO CONVENTION 176 AND RECOMMENDATION 183 (1996) – HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE MINES
The National Executive Council deeply regrets the inability and refusal of the part successive government to ratify this very important convention and recommendation which seek to promote and protect the health and safety of mineworkers.
The Council as a matter of urgency calls on government to initiate a tripartite discussion of the issue with a view to ratifying the above convention and adopted recommendation and subsequent promulgation of relevant legislation to that effect.
We are resolved.
Prince William Ankrah John K. Brimpong
General Secretary National Chairperson