Mine Workers Union protest against Sunon Asogli
Mine Workers Union protest against Sunon Asogli

Mine Workers Union protest against Sunon Asogli

The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) supported by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is embarking on a protest at Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited to demand the reinstatement of three dismissed local union leaders.


The protest is also intended to halt what the union describes as blatant violations of the fundamental rights of workers, acts of interference, unfair labour practices, and disrespect for regulatory institutions by the management of the company.

At a news conference in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the GMWU, Abdul-Moomin Gbana, said the union arrived at that decision as a result of several failed attempts to resolve the issue amicably with the management of the company.

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The union has consequently encouraged its members to turn up in their numbers and converge on the TUC Head Office in Accra at 8 a.m. today to be conveyed to the protest grounds at Kpone.

Giving the background, Mr Gbana said nearly 70 workers of the company took the decision to join the GMWU, and they went through the necessary legal processes to acquire a Collective Bargaining Certificate which was duly issued by the Chief Labour Officer.

That certificate empowered the union to represent and negotiate with the company on behalf of the unionised workers.

However, as a condition to recognise the certificate issued by the Labour Department, he said the company, through its lawyer, demanded to know the names of the unionised workers.

The issue, Mr Gbana said, ended at the National Labour Commission (NLC), with the commission, on two occasions, ruling and directing that the list of the workers was not relevant at that stage and that the certificate was properly and legally issued to GMWU, and, therefore, the company must enter into negotiations with the union. 

“The company and its lawyers disregarded the decisions of the commission with impunity, and have since refused to respond to any correspondence from the union.

Based on the commission's ruling and under the Labour Act, Mr Gbana said the union wrote to the management per the GMWU Constitution and Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).

However, the company refused to comply with the request, citing concerns over the Collective Bargaining Certificate, a matter which, he said, had been settled by the NLC.

Based on the company's apparent refusal to comply with the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), as well as its refusal to respond to any correspondence from the union or honour meetings scheduled by the NLC, the GMWU General Secretary recounted that a notice of intention to embark on strike was served by the union on the company and copied the NLC.

This was supposedly in reaction to actions of management, including the termination of the employment of three of the branch union leaders comprising the Union Secretary, the Assistant Secretary and the Chairperson, for the reason that they had joined a trade union and had been elected to lead workers at the enterprise level.

“Please take note, once again, that the affected workers have not committed any crime, and they have not broken any company rules. The only crime they have committed, according to the management of the company, is that they have decided to join a trade union of their choice to protect their social and economic interests,” he said.

While recognising the intervention of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Gbana said calls on the management of the company and the authorities concerned to ensure the reinstatement of the three local union leaders had fallen on deaf ears.

He added that the several calls to the management to refrain from any acts of intimidation, fear and panic being unleashed on the union members in the company and to stop the abuse of the rights of employees to belong to a union of their choice had also fallen on deaf ears.

“Therefore, we are going to use every means, including embarking on protest marches, picketing demonstrations, strikes across the industry and the country, to demand the reinstatement of the three dismissed local union leaders”, he said.

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