The General Secretary of Ghana Mine worker’s Union (GMWU), Mr Abdul Moomin-Gbana, has asked the government to strengthen the security systems in mining companies and communities else they would not hesitate to withdraw their services.
He said the security situation within mining communities and companies continued to be a major challenge to the union as the "Government Operation Halt Programme" rages on.
According to him, this positive initiative has forced many illegal miners to invade legally acquired mining concessions resulting in serious clashes with their valued members.
The General Secretary, said this in a speech read on his behalf during the union’s national executive council meeting at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa.
"Recently, two of our members in Protea Coin; Robert Coffie and Joshua Oppong were attacked and shot which led to Joshua losing one eye whilst Robert sustained multiple injuries on the Newmont Ahafo site", he said.
Mr Gbana observed that "similarly on the same Newmont Ahafo site, Daniel Owusu Sekyere and Mathew Nsoah both members of the union, were attacked with guns and cutlasses where Daniel sustained multiple fractures on one leg whilst Mathew had several cutlass wounds on the head".
"Sadly, Daniel now has metals planted in his leg while Jacob Ayiko who was also attacked by galamsayers sustained multiple fractures on his right wrist had metals planted in his wrist"
Mr Gbana said "these are just a few examples of the numerous horrendous attacks our members go through daily. These are not unique to Protea Coin on the Newmont Ahafo premises alone but a growing feature across the mining industry in Ghana".
He stressed that on the Asanko, Persues and Anglogold Ashanti mining concessions and many others, these gruesome attacks were characteristic of the work environment and must be reversed without delay.
The General Secretary added that the union was therefore happy to associate itself with the Government’s plan to roll out a National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme for illegal small-scale miners affected by the activities of Operation Halt II, stressing that, "this initiative could be counterproductive if the jobs that were created out of this programme were not decent and sustainable".
He again said the union looks forward to future consultations with the Government on its intended programmes as they collectively work towards eliminating galamsay more sustainably.Mr Gbana noted that given the increasing spate and life-threatening nature of these incidences, it was urgently imperative that companies and employers in the […]