Wacam, a civil society organisation, has kicked against moves by Goldfields Ghana Limited (GFCL) to adopt contract mining and urged government to intervene.
The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union and GFCL have since November 2017 been in a dispute over the legitimacy of the company to adopt contract mining instead of the current owner-mining model.
The contract mining will see GFCL hand over its operations at the Tarkwa Mine to private contractors. The move will see over 2000 workers lose their jobs.
In a press release, Wacam’s Associate Executive Director, Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, said they wish “to sound the caution that if government allows GFGL to succeed in transiting from owner mining to contract mining, it would serve as an encouragement to all the mining companies to adopt contract mining because it will lead to huge savings for the company from cuts on labour cost”.
Wacam’s position is that the investment of GFGL is a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which is a form of investment where investors from a country which is different from the host country, use their controlling ownership to create mutual benefits for the host country and the investors.
It added that job creation, payment of corporate taxes and income tax of employees, are regarded as some of the rents that accrue to nations that become the destination of FDIs.
For Wacam, “the transiting from owner mining to contract mining implies that Gold Fields Ghana Limited is shirking its responsibility of creating decent jobs. The affected employees would suffer diminution in their terms and conditions of service. The contract mining would imply a reduced remuneration for employees and a resultant reduction of aggregate income tax from employees and these negative effects would have cascading effects on society and national development. Gold Fields Ghana Limited is one of the most pampered mining companies”.
The statement indicated that: “The state has a lot to lose in a shift from owner mining to contract mining. Government should establish a policy against contract mining in Ghana because it is not in the interest of the people of Ghana who are the true owners of natural resources. Let the owner beware and act”.