From Frederick Danso Abeam .
A planned demonstration for today Monday, May 6, 2019, by a group calling itself 2013/2014 Dislocated Workers Group of AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine against the current management of the company, was, on Friday, averted, courtesy an emergency meeting held at the instance of the Obuasi Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC).
The Dislocated Workers Group had, in a letter to the Obuasi Municipal Police Commander, dated April 26, 2019, stated that the authorities of AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine had refused to attend meetings scheduled for February 7and 26, 2019 respectively, by the Chief Labour Officer, Mr. Eugene Nar Korletey, to resolve the impasse between them over the non-payment of “Special Compensatory Pay, agreed in an unprecedented negotiation held on Tuesday June 18, 2013.
After almost two hours of deliberations, the ex-workers of AGA agreed to abandon the idea of a demomonstration against the company.
This was after the Assistant Chief Labour Officer, Mr. Braima Dauda, who was at the meeting, had assured the ex-workers that he would report back to his boss, after which another date, tentatively, before the end of May, will be arranged for the two ‘warring’ parties to meet to resolve the impasse in Accra.
The spokesperson for the aggrieved ex-workers, Mr. Alex Frimpong, explained at the meeting that by the Special Compensatory Pay, the company owes the ex-workers millions of cedis, and that they will compel it to pay them accordingly.
The Head, Legal and Corporate Affairs of AngloGold Ashanti, Mrs. Juliet Manteaw Kutin, on her part, explained that the 2013/2014 retrenchment exercise carried out by the company was governed by a collective agreement, and it had a lot of public attention, and that it wasn’t something the company did quietly.
She pointed out that the Minister of Lands, Minister of Labour at the time, the Chief Labour Officer, and the Ghana Mine Workers Union were all party to the exercise, and nothing like an unprecedented agreement had been signed between the company and the union.
Mrs. Kutin further said a letter the company wrote to the Chief Labour Officer, in response to an invitation to the company for a meeting, AngloGold Ashanti made it clear that the said unprecedented agreement does not exist, and that it was a forged document.
The National Chairman, Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU), Mr. Kwarko Mensah Gyarkari, corroborated the position of Mrs. Kutin – that the company did not sign any unprecedented agreement.
The Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Elijah Adansi Bonah and Chairman of the MUSEC, called on both the AGA management and the executives of the ex-workers group to endeavour to respond to the next invitation by the Chief Labour Officer for an amicable settlement of the impasse, so that Obuasi, and for that matter the mines, will see peace.