Operations at Gold Fields’s Ghana unit has been stopped as workers embark on what the company claims is an “illegal” industrial action.
“Gold Fields Limited regrets to report that employees at its Tarkwa and Damang mines in Ghana…have today, at approximately 11.00am (Ghana time), embarked on illegal industrial action which has led to production at both mines being stopped,” said the miner in a statement April 3, 2013.
Gold Fields has a 90% interest in both mines.
This is after the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMU) and its affiliates, the Professional Managerial Staff Union and the Branch Union, yesterday presented management at both mines with a number of demands, and threatened industrial action should the company not respond favourably to the demands within 24 hours.
According to the statement, the demands relate to a dispute in the determination of profit share payments to employees; the unconditional reinstatement of an employee who was dismissed following an internal disciplinary procedure; dissatisfaction with certain management structures; the removal of certain members of senior management; concerns about catering delivery models; and allegations of discrimination between expatriate and Ghanaian employees.
Gold Fields says it is “analyzing and investigating the demands as a matter of urgency” adding that the company appeals to all employees to maintain law and order while this process is underway as the safety and security of all employees are of primary importance.
The company indicated that it holds the view that the industrial action is “illegal and unprotected”.
It adds, “This could expose participating workers to the no-work, no-pay rule as well as possible dismissal.