Growing insecurity in mining areas worrying – Mines Workers Union

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The Ghana Mines Workers Union has called on the Government to address the growing insecurity and attacks of mine workers in mining areas.

The Union claimed that the attacks and insecurity were being perpetrated by some disgruntled and displaced small-scale illegal miners.

Mr Abdul-Moomin Gbana, Secretary to the Union, made the allegations during a meeting with Mr George Mireku Duker, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, in-charge of Mines, in Accra.

He said since the illegal miners were displaced, they had devised a plan of invading the concessions of legal mining operators, thus resulting in frequent threats and attacks.

Mr Gbana pleaded with the government to beef up security in those areas, by deploying the police or the military to halt such attacks on its members.

He also asked the Ministry to investigate the conditions of service of local mine workers since most of them did not have well-defined employment contracts.

He noted that most of the mine workers were engaged on a temporary basis by the large-scale foreign mining firms without any proper employment contract and job security.

Mr Gbana underscored the need for a review of the contracts with some foreign mining firms to increase local participation and welfare.

“We should relook at the 90 to 10 per cent agreement and shift from tax regime to value addition for greater benefits.

“The narrative should change because Ghanaians must be directly involved. This requires capacity building and state intervention and support,” Mr Gbana stressed.

The Deputy Minister indicated that the Government was reviewing most of the contract agreements it had signed with the mining companies to improve the benefits to Ghanaians.

“We would ensure increased local content participation, not only for the welfare of workers but also outsourcing of some production activities and technology transfer to Ghanaians,” he said.

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