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TUC accuses Gold Fields of bad faith in plan to lay off ‘2,150 workers’

Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Gen- Secretary of TUC

The Trades Union Congress of Ghana (TUC) is accusing Gold Fields Ghana Limited of demonstrating bad faith in breaching the development agreement it signed with government in 2016.

The TUC said despite getting the huge fiscal incentives from the March 11, 2016 agreement, Gold Fields is adducing arguments to “justify what is basically an unjustifiable action”.

The gold-mining company had served notice of laying off about 1,500 of its employees due to a new business model it wants to run.

According to reports, it intends to run a contract mining model at its Tarkwa and Damang mines.

The decision was based on two grounds of life of span of its mines and its ageing fleet of equipment.

But the TUC says both reasons are “unjustifiable”.

The nation’s mother union says even the company’s stated figure of 1,500 was wrong as facts available to it says 2,150 workers including some management staff will be laid off if the decision is prosecuted.

The TUC says such decision cannot come only a year after getting a “generous” agreement with government.

“One year on, and after these generous fiscal and other concessions, Gold Fields has the temerity to disregard its own commitment and promises and propose this insensitive retrenchment programme in which 2,150 workers will lose their jobs and livelihoods,” a statement issued by TUC on Thursday noted.

“This certainly cannot be ‘the more jobs’ the people of Ghana were promised in return for the huge fiscal incentives,” the statement signed by TUC Secretary General Dr Yaw Baah said.

“The proposed retrenchment by Gold Fields is, therefore, a demonstration of bad faith and is in breach of the mining Development Agreement the Company signed with the Government of Ghana in 2016.”

It called on government to ensure that Gold Fields “implements its side of the Development Agreement and refrain from adducing additional arguments to justify what is basically an unjustifiable action”.

It threw its weight behind a court action by the Ghana Mineworkers Union against Gold Fields.

“In the coming days and weeks, we will pursue additional measures to ensure that Gold Fields does not renege on its contractual obligations and does not further compound the looming unemployment challenge we face.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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