Protect mine workers or they move out-General Secretary bares teeth

Prince_WilliamAnkrahThe General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU), Mr Prince William Ankrah, has appealed to government and employers in the mining sector to provide adequate protection for workers in the mines.

Mine workers, he stressed would work well when their safety is guaranteed by their employers.

Addressing members at the opening session of the union’s national executive council meeting at the Public Services Workers Union Center in Kumasi, the General Secretary called for better approach in securing the concessions of mine workers.

He rallied government, employers and other state agencies to devise better systems in providing security for their employees so as to sustain the gains from the industry and to stop human resource flight.

Recalling some nasty incidents that had happened to mine workers at their sites, the GS noted illegal miners have been threatening and maiming some of the Union members at various workplaces.

Mr John Owusu, the former Public Affairs Director at Anglo-Gold Ashanti (AGA) was recently and unfortunately killed as a result of the activities of some illegal miners who had laid siege on concessions of AGA, the General Secretary narrated.

Mr Ankrah mentioned the worrying state at which these illegal miners had laid ambush on some registered mining concessions and were on the verge of destroying the fields.

He said Owere Mines in Konongo and AngloGold have not been spared the nefarious enterprise by these hoodlums who recently invaded and took control of the Mine’s concession for weeks while owners watched helplessly.

Mr Ankrah decried the worsening living and infrastructure conditions in mining communities, insisting some are being ripped off.

He stressed no proper infrastructure could be seen at these communities, revealing the reverse is what happens in European and other western communities where gold is mined.

Interestingly, the General Secretary noted California in the United States of America was transformed economically by mining and wondered why the country is made worse off by same multinational companies who do business here.

In California, Mr Ankrah stated the mining company was asked to develop the city and to ensure their activities reflected on the economic fortunes of residents.

‘’This is the kind of leadership we would want to see in Ghana so that no foreign or indigenous company make our mining companies worse off even after taking their mineral deposits”, Mr Ankrah reinforced.

He noted South Africa and Australia have also ensured their mining communities are upgraded to first class cities by mining communities plying their activities there.

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