We are greatly appalled by the primitive behaviour shown by the Ghana Police in their latest arrests of mine workers who were legitimately protesting in protection of their economic rights to work and earn an honest living.
We demand their immediate and unconditional release and at the same time condemn government in the strongest terms for failing to protect its citizens and aiding foreign multinationals in the violation of the rights of the workers. Several things have gone wrong and the State instead of protecting its citizens has chosen the side of foreign monopoly capital. For instance, we are shocked to know of the use of the military to intimidate mine workers to sign redundancy letters, and also compelled to sign a one month fixed-term contract with management. Who does the government of Ghana serve?
This treatment by Gold Fields Ghana Limited in their quest to terminate the employment of thousands of workers through an utterly unfair redundancy exercise, is in clear violation of the national labour laws and the international core labour standards and also in breach of the current collective agreement.
We have benefited nothing from our gold as a country; everything is owned and controlled by the multinationals. The little we get from taxes, we give out in concessions. Under the circumstances therefore, the only real benefit is in the form of employment of our people and even then they usually work in exploitative and dubious conditions. Now even that meagre benefit is under threat.
We support any strike actions and mass manifestations directed at ensuring that the rights of Mine workers are protected. Government and its regulatory institutions must put a stop to its anti-worker attitude and call Gold Fields to order in the face of their glaring infractions of the law, and the sanctity of agreements particularly as relates the recent development.
Long live mine workers! Long live African workers! The fight shall succeed!