Hearing on the lawsuit filed by the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU) seeking to halt a redundancy exercise planned by Goldfields Ghana Limited has been scheduled for January 10.
The Labour Court hearing the case in which the Union is fighting the planned dismissal of over 2000 workers of Goldfields, first heard the case on December 20, but had it adjourned to enable all the parties to be adequately prepared for the hearing.
Mr. Abdul Moomin Gbana, Deputy General Secretary of the GMWU told ADR Daily in an interview that the Union was highly confident of victory, describing the intended dismissal of the workers as unlawful.
“The lawsuit came just in time with the first hearing on the December 20, 2017. GMWU was able to act immediately after Goldfields sent word that they would be serving dismissal letters to workers.
“GMWU filed the lawsuit immediately ensuring that no worker was given termination letter thus giving them the assurance that their jobs were safe,” he added.
He explained that the filing of the lawsuit, which has the full backing of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), was to achieve two outcomes.
The first, he said, was for it to serve as an injunction to stop Goldfields from implementing the redundancy exercise because the premise it provided was not properly founded.
“The second was to determine whether or not there was a basis for the redundancy exercise,” he said, adding that investigations by the Union so far proved that there was no basis for that exercise.
“We believe in the rule of law and we are optimistic that justice will prevail. Although the lawsuit begun last year, we are hopeful and confident that in the New Year, we will succeed,” he said.
Goldfields is said to have initiated the redundancy exercise as a result of a “Contract Mining” business model it has adopted.
In addition, the company indicates that the redundancy exercise had become necessary due to its aging fleet and mining equipment, as well as the expiring lifespan of its Tarkwa Mine, hence the need to lay off some 2,500 workers to reduce cost.
But the GMWU challenged the company on the basis for the exercise, accusing the management of providing inaccurate information about the lifespan of the mine and its fleet. The TUC also described the plan as “heartless” and “irresponsible.”
By Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com