Retrenched workers of Anglogold Ashanti demonstrate over outstanding compensations
Scores of ex-workers of Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine, who were retrenched in 2013 and 2014 Monday began a demonstration at the frontage of the company’s head office, Gold House in Accra, to back demands for the payment of what they say are outstanding compensations.
The all-red clad demonstrators are demanding an immediate meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Kelvin Dushnisky from July 29 to August 1, 2019 to be informed of when the payments would start.
According to the ex-workers, they were prepared to occupy the front of the company’s head office for as long as it takes to hear from the Chief Executive, accusing the Managing Director, Eric Aubonteng and Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Juliet Manteaw Kutin of frustrating the process to adequately compensate them.
Calling themselves ‘the 2013-2014 Dislocated Workers Group of Anglogold Ashanti Ghana Limited (Obuasi Mine)’, they said a long standing agreement with the company since their retrenchment has not been honoured, imposing unbearable hardships on the affected workers and their dependants.
“We are directing the demonstration here against especially, Eric Asubonteng who is the Managing Director & General Manager and Juliet Manteaw Kutin who is also the Head of Legal & Corporate Affairs that first they said the signatures in the agreement were not theirs but now that they have accepted that the signatures are for the Company, we want them to inform Mr. Kelvin Dushnisky (The CEO) to come to Ghana here giving him from today July 29, 2019 - August 1, 2019 to sit down with us and give us the date for the payment of the Special Compensation and also to pacify us for the violation of our Human Rights conducting illegal redundancy exercises in both years. We will not leave the premises of the Gold House till we receive a letter signed by the CEO.”
Mr. Alex Frimpong, leader of the aggrieved ex-workers said as a result of the hardship they have had to endure, about 400 of them have gone to their early grave, with about half the number cutting their own lives short by committing suicide.
The notice to the management was received by Mrs. Wosiela Bobie, Senior Manager, Human Resource, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine.
Letter to CEO
In a letter to the CEO, a copy of which was made available to Graphic Online, the workers accused him of failing to even acknowledge a letter requesting for a meeting with him, hence the demonstration.
Below are the contents of the letter, signed by Alex Frimpong (Leader and Spokesperson of the ex-workers).
REMINDER OF OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF SPECIAL COMPENSATORY PAY AND PACIFICATION OF VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS GERMANE TO 2013-2014 REDUNDANCIES AT THE OBUASl MINE.
Our message is simple and short sir. We the 2013-2014 Dislocated Workers' Group of Anglogold Ashanti Ghana Limited-Obuasi Mine wrote a letter to you dated June 19, 2019 and scheduled July 3, 2019 for meeting you in Accra but up to now you have not even acknowledged the receipt of the letter so we decided to stage demonstration at the Ghana's Head Office Gold House for your (the Management) ceaseless refusal to give us our Special Compensatory Pay and also to pacify us germane to the illegal redundancy exercises conducted in 2013 2014 respectively. Apparently those redundancy exercises took place based on the directives that Obuasi received from the Headquarters under the leadership of your immediate past predecessor Mr. Venkatakrishnan (Venkat)
Respectfully sir, we would like the Managing Director, Eric Asubonteng, and Juliet Manteaw Kutin who is the Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs to inform you officially to come to Ghana here and please we are giving you from today July 29, 2019 - August 7, 2019 for the historic meeting to be held in Accra to resolve this impasse once and for all after paying us fully and we will not leave the Gold House till we receive a letter written and signed by yourself today before we leave the place and come back to meet you in Accra on the chosen day from the period given you.