Ghana: Social Partners Must Work to End Casual Work, Others in Mining Sector - Gmwu General Secretary

The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) says social partners must come together to fight the non-standard forms of employment approach being adopted by employers in the mining sector.

According to the Union, employers were shifting from permanent employment to casual work, fixed term, contract work, which did not augur well for workers and worsening their living conditions and plight.

The General Secretary of the GMWU, Abdul-Moomin Gbana, who raised the concern during this year's May Day Celebration, said the "spate of increasing non-standard forms of employment is a major worry to the GMWU and social partners must also be concerned.

As part of the programme, Vice President and Managing Director of Golden Star Resources Limited Mr Shaddrack Adjetey Sowah, was awarded for his meritorious and sterling leadership in mining.

He said the practice if not nipped in the bud would worsen the plight of workers and worsen their living conditions.

Mr Gbana observed that the increasing spate of non-standard forms of employment was not only the preserve of the mining sector alone and it was gradually becoming a feature of the labour market.

"It's important that organised labour will marshall all the strength and forces that we need to be able to wrestle this matter because it is about survival. If we don't deal with this canker now the future will be bleak for all of us in the labour union," he said.

Mr Gbana said it was important for all the labour unions to come together and raise their voice about the practice.

"I think that if you look at the gradual shift, there is also the corresponding shift in terms of general terms and conditions of employment. So when it comes to income, incomes are gradually declining in the mining sector, job security is no longer a guarantee because hitherto you were on permanent contract but today they give you six months, one year to two years contract at the mercy of the employer," Mr Gbana, said.

"Whatever we can do to change this narrative and ensure that the deterioration in terms and conditions of employment in the mining sector and by extension the entire economy is altered and we must do so as quickly as possible," he said.

Mr Gbana pledged that the GMWU would engage the appropriate authorities and use legal means to stop the use of casual work, contract work and fixed term employment in the mining sector.

He lauded the social partners for fighting for reforms in the labour sector and review of the Labour Act.

On the award of the Mr Sowah, Mr Gbana said the Vice President and Managing Director of Golden Star Resources Limited, Mr Sowah and his team created the environment that respects and recognises workers right for the mutual good of management and labour.

The National Chairman of the GMWU, Mr Mensah Kwarko Gyakari, lauded the worker-centered approach of the Vice President and Managing Director of Golden Star Resources Limited Mr Sowah, which has created good management-union working relations.

Mr Sowah thanked the Ghana Mineworkers Union for honouring him as an employer with the national May Day Award.

He called for proactive collaboration to consciously recognise the critical role of the workers in enhancing productivity.

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