Five (5) workers at Goldfields Mine in Tarkwa in the Western Region have been left injured amidst firing of gunshots after allegations of military and police brutalities on the mineworkers.
The workers were protesting management’s decision to opt for contract mining, which is expected to result in huge retrenchments
The demonstrating workers blocked all access to the Tarkwa Mine, preventing other staff from going to work.
This was after an Accra High Court had dismissed an injunction application filed by the Ghana Mine Workers Union to stop Goldfields from switching to contract mining.
The union argued out that about 1,500 workers would lose their jobs if the company was allowed to switch from owner mining to contract mining, but the high court dismissed the application.
Speaking to the media, Deputy General Secretary of the Mine Workers Union, Abdul-Moomin Gbana, explained that the demonstration was suspended following the arrest.
“We left this morning, numbering over 100, and our plan was to demonstrate to Goldfields management our displeasure and disappointment at the atrocities visited upon us.”
“So in the process, we were accosted by armed military officers and some police officers. They started firing tear gas. One of the military men used his gun to hit the head of one of the workers,” Abdul-Moomin claimed.
The injured workers were said to be at the Tarkwa Government Hospital receiving treatment.
At least one other person was alleged to have sustained injuries from rubber bullets.
It will be recalled that in December 2017, Goldfields Ghana Limited revealed it was going to lay off almost 2,000 workers as part of measures to change its business model and make the company profitable due to the relatively short lifespan of the mine.
But the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, Abdul Moomin Gbana, at the time said the reasons given by Goldfields were inconsistent with the facts on the ground.
“Goldfields claims the life of the mine is 5 to 6 years, and based on the limited time, they cannot invest in mining fleet…it can actually run for a number of years and you don’t necessarily need to replace the fleets that Goldfields claims it wants to do.”
“Records available to us indicate that contrary to their claim of the life of the mine of 5-6 years, they have over 15 years of mine and so the question is, if your choice of contract mining is based on a limited life of mine and your own website projects 15 years, then, who are you misleading?” he asked.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH