Over 3900 workers of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana are still in solidarity demanding payment of a “special compensatory pay” that was part of a June 18, 2013 Unprecedented Agreement signed between Management of the Company and Union leaders of Mine Workers.
The workers who were retrenched from 2013 to 2014 have expressed their readiness to appear before the Management of the Company or any investigative body to narrate some of their ordeals suffered at the hands of the company regarding their retrenchment.
But the management of the company in a responds letter to Labour Policy International (LPi) dated January 2, 2019 and signed by its Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Juliet Manteaw-Kutin, denied being aware of any retrenchment exercise in 2013 but could only confirm 2014.
The Worker has done its checks with the National Labour Commission (NLC) and can confirm that the group of workers have dragged the company to the Commission for violating its obligations in the retrenchment agreement. NLC has refused to speak in definite terms to a circular from the Management of the company claiming the Commission has dismissed the petition of the workers. Meanwhile it has been confirmed that the Labour Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is fully aware of developments and had at a point requested for a meeting or formal response from AngloGold Ashanti to claims by Labour Policy International who represents the group of workers in this said struggle.
AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Ltd commenced and implemented an elaborate retrenchment project to obliterate all permanent jobs, replace the collective bargaining agreement and enforce a new employment model where workers will be subject to contract arrangement involving third party firms. The company agreed to pay a special package to workers as a “thank you” for their long immense contribution to the growth of profit of the company. But documents obtained from deep sources reveal that the company is yet to oblige to the full terms of the Unprecedented Negotiated Agreement.
The whole retrenchment exercise unprecedented in the company’s labour relations history affected 4262 workers in Obuasi Mine and Accra Office. The exercise took 15 months from September 2013 to November 2014. According to the terms of the agreement, employees who have worked in the company for 1 year to 9 years shall be entitled to receive $60,000 US dollars as Special Compensatory Pay. Those who worked for 10 – 19 years were entitled to receive $100,000 US dollars and those with 20 years and above were to be paid $125,000 US dollars. Meanwhile senior officers like managers, senior managers, directors and vice presidents were not part of the compensation. Their compensation was to be fixed at the discretion of the Board of Directors (high echelons) of the company at the Headquarters in Johannesburg in South Africa.