Newmont Ghana committed to fair, sustainable contractor employee compensation
Newmont Ghana has responded to last week’s demonstration by workers of the Ahafo mine who are demanding equal pay as expatriates
to Newmont, it was committed to facilitating good-faith dialogue between a section of the Ahafo mine’s construction contractor employees and their employers.
A Police officer and two other persons sustained injuries when demonstrators clashed with the police during the demonstration against the subcontractors of the Newmont Ahafo Mine Company Limited at Kenyasi No.1 in the Asutifi North District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
While Kwaku Duah of Kenyasi No.1 was treated and discharged at the Gyedu Health Centre, his colleague, Richard Amfoh, had to be referred to the Regional Hospital in Sunyani where he is receiving further treatment due to the severity of his injuries.
A pressure group, the United Mining Affected Communities (UMAC), led the residents and some workers of the mine to demonstrate against the poor conditions of service for the locals employed by the subcontractors of the Newmont Ahafo Gold Mines.
The demonstrations started last Monday and ended last Thursday.
The demonstrators alleged that their conditions of service were different from those of the non-locals who had been employed by the same subcontractors to do the same work, explaining that the action of the subcontractors was making employment unattractive to people who hailed from the mining area.
The President of the Kenyasi Youth Association, Kennedy Adu Adjei, told the Daily Graphic that the local employees were given inadequate rent and risk allowances among others, in spite of the risky nature of their work.
In a statement issued by Agbeko Azumah, Manager for Communications and External Affairs at the Ahafo Mine, Newmont said it has facilitated discussions between the two sides to determine guidelines for fair, competitive and sustainable compensation packages.
However, the local contractor employees have demanded additional compensation and benefits and stayed away from work to further press their demands.
The company explained the regional police administration has deployed public security personnel to improve security and order within the Kenyasi and Ntotroso communities while protecting lives and property following reports of intimidation and threats. A police constable sustained an eye injury following the attack by the protestors.
“Our thoughts are with the policeman who was injured in the line of duty. We are committed to ensuring fair and sustainable compensation for our contractors and have provided them with equitable remuneration guidelines,” said Yaw Okyere , Acting General Manager for Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo mine.
“However, we cannot directly negotiate wages and other benefits with their employees on their behalf – they have the responsibility to negotiate directly with their employees. We also encourage the concerned local contractor employees to re-engage in good-faith dialogue with their employers through due process,” he added
Newmont said it will continue to ensure fair and competitive employment opportunities that create value and improve lives for nearby communities.