Mine workers reject ‘bogus’ AngloGold agreement

The Ghana Mineworkers Union is resisting the approval of the Development and Tax Concession Agreement between the government of Ghana and AngloGold Ashanti Limited and has called for a review of the document to ensure the wellbeing of workers is prioritized.

Abdul Moomin Gbana, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Mineworkers Union, has lamented the lack of a clear definition of “permanent employee” in the AngloGold case.

The union argues that the conditions provided for in the document still leave a major gap for possible exploitation after first review.

“In view of that, a precise definition of “permanent employee” will therefore prevent the generic interpretation of the term and also help eliminate possible implementation and compliance gaps,” he said in an interview with this reporter.

The Union pushed for the inclusion of trade unions in discussions on the Development Agreement on how to accomplish the objectives.

He stressed that their proposal was premised on the fact that matters bordering on the future of work, the nature and form of employment and the ramifications thereof, were viewed from a tripartite (consultations between; Government, Employers and Organized Labour) perspective.

This would guarantee not only policy coherence between mining and labour, it will also ensures compliance with all relevant labour legislation.

The Union on this grounds pushed for the institutionalization of a tripartite plus committee (including catchment communities, employers, government, trade unions where applicable, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders) to manage the Community Trust Fund.

The Union as part of its review also recommended the setting up of a Joint Committee to conduct a bi-annual audit as a monitoring mechanism to ensure that AGAG was complying with the provisions of both the Development and Tax Concession Agreements.

Mr Gbana also called for a change in the current approach (top-bottom) to a bottom-top approach where wider stakeholder consultation was conducted to feed into the negotiations of such Agreements.

The Union has also in its recommendations to the joint committee on Mines and Energy and Finance of Parliament proposed that the development agreement clearly specified the details of items that could not be procured locally to be submitted to the Minerals Commission and a plan of action to realise the provision as part of efforts to ensure full benefaction of the mining value chain.

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