Accra, Aug. 13, GNA -
The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union has commended government for the creation of the
Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation to oversee the exploration
and mining of bauxite in the Atiwa, Nyinahin and Awaso reserves.
The Union also commended President Akufo-Addo for inaugurating the Board of Directors of the Company, which had paved way for structures to be put in place for full operations.
The Union said the Corporation would help in the repayment of the Syndicated two billion dollar Loan from the Chinese Government.
“This massive state project could positively impact the Union’s membership base with a strategic prioritization of recruitment and focused engagement with the stakeholders”.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Prince William Ankrah, the General Secretary of the Union and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra after the National Executive Council Meeting in Obuasi on the positives and challenges of the industry.
He said even though the initiative was laudable, the Union urged government to engage with civil societies concern on environmental issues to the project for amicable understanding.
Mr Ankrah said another refreshing development for the Union was the resumption of operations of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited which experienced maintenance programme culminating into critical turnaround initiatives, putting the mine back on track to deliver on its mandate.
Mr Ankrah said another positive development for the industry was the current surge in the prices of gold on the international market.
According to kitco.com, the price of gold averaged between $1,100/oz and $1200/oz for almost half a decade until the first quarter of 2018; which made most actors particularly investors quite cautious on investment into the industry.
However, in the first half of 2018 gold prices began a positive surge on the back of the US-China trade war brouhaha from an average of $1331.67/oz in January to over $1500/oz in August 2019 to the current average of $1457.02/oz.
He stated that given these positive development, core activities of the industry like mining, exploration, processing and other related projects were picking up albeit cautiously, leading to new jobs being created with the potential of more to be created.
He said the Union expressed satisfaction with the introduction of Wage Adjustment, an innovative intervention that had impacted salary negotiations, linking productivity and performance to employee total rewards management.
Mr Ankrah stressed that the robustness and scientific nature of the model, compared to the previous laborious open-market approach to salary negotiations have been reduced from an average of one to six months to about three days to two weeks of negotiations giving the Union and management space to concentrate and innovate around productivity and performance.
On challenges facing the Union, he said there were some disturbing happenings in the industry including the unbridled outsourcing of all manner of projects by the mining companies that affected their operations.
He said given the cheap nature of outsourced projects, mining companies were given all manner of excuses to profiteer through outsourcing and fixed-term contract employment to the detriment of workers, communities and the Government.
Mr Ankrah said the Union was concerned about the recent feud between government and the Power Distribution Services culminating into the suspension of the Agreement between them, urging government to quicken the pace of its investigations on the issue to chart the way forward.