AngloGold Ashanti to sack 1,600 workers
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
THE FATE of about 1,600 workers of the Mining and Building Contractors (MBC) at Obuasi, who have been work with AngloGold Ashanti (AGA), is hanging in the balance, following the alleged termination of a contract between the company and AngloGold Ashanti.
The termination takes effect from November 8, next month, according to official sources of AGA. Last year, AngloGold Ashanti and Mining and Building Contractors were confronted with issues bordering on contract terms, as a result of which AngloGold Ashanti has served notice to terminate the contract of the Obuasi Underground Development of the Mining and Building Contractors.
A letter from AngloGold Ashanti to the management of Mining and Building Contractors, sighted by The Chronicle, read that AGA has terminated its underground development contract with MBC at the Obuasi Mine in Ghana.
MBC, which also provides construction and maintenance services to AGA, has been asked to serve its 28-day notice period before ceasing work. Explaining AGA’s decision, it said it was to secure the viability and long term sustainability of the Obuasi mine, which according to AGA has failed to perform to its full potential, the letter said.
The decision follows the identification of the Underground development as one of the key factors responsible for poor production levels at the mine, which directly and indirectly employs about 9,500 people.
Officials of MBC have been meeting over the issue, while some workers of the Mining and Building Contractors likely to be affected by the termination of the contract are contemplating on their fate.
The workers expressed worry about the situation and said if AGA’s decision is not rescinded the unemployment situation in the country would be worsened.
The 1,600 workers appealed to the government and the Asantehene to intervene as a matter of urgency to save the situation as any attempt by the management of AngloGold Ashanti to terminate their appointment will lead to a break down in the socio-economic and academic lives of the workers and their families.
When contacted, Mr. Kwame Addo Kufuor , Vice President, Corporate Affairs at AGA, explained that the decision was due to some ineffeciency on the part of MBC.
AngloGold Ashanti said it is committed to ensuring that members of MBC’s workforce known to AGA receive their due entitlements including the 15% end of contract benefit and provident fund payments.
AGA management, according to Addo Kufuor, has also assured that AGA will do everything possible to ensure that effects of the disruption is limited with regards to affected employees who live in AGA housing units.
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