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General News of Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Source: GNA

Newmont Ghana dismisses allegations made by Mine Workers Union

Accra, Jan 5, GNA - Newmont Ghana has dismissed accusations of alleged racial comment of an expatriate staff and unjust dismissal of its Ahafo Local Union Chairman levelled against it by the Ghana Mines Workers Union (GMWU).

In a statement, the company said after extensive and independent internal investigation, it came out that there was no basis for the allegation of the use of racial language.

Accordingly, the GMWU was advised that the committee did not find any basis for the allegations made and that the company was willing to share the findings of the investigative committee report with the Union but not the names of persons involved since all accusers were promised confidentiality.

Newmont also described as unfounded allegations that a coffee rest period was withdrawn during night shift, adding that Newmont's industry-leading practice was that an operator takes a rest when tired. "Break rooms facilities have been constructed in the field and 28 extra relief operators have been hired to ensure that operators can take a break at anytime during both day and night shifts," the statement said. On the dismissal of Mr Kwaku Shaibu, the Ahafo Local Union Chairman of the company, it said the termination of appointment was not linked with the December strike action.

"We followed the laid down union agreed procedures and our human resources' due process in terminating his appointment", it said. As mandated by our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), a disciplinary committee comprising union, management and human resources representatives was set up and concluded that Mr Shaibu by his actions, incited his co-workers to act contrary to their supervisor's instruction and work procedures, the statement said.

The statement said though his actions was classified in the Union CBA as 'Misuse of level Authority' and attracts a 'termination of appointment', the committee recommended that a final warning letter was issued to him, which management of Newmont agreed. The statement said it was later found out that Mr Shaibu had already been issued with a final written warning letter on his personnel file, leaving it with no other option than to terminate his appointment. The company cited other allegations made earlier by the workers and said often, these allegations were investigated by independent bodies and proved to be untrue.

"Newmont Ghana respects the laws of Ghana and agreements made under these laws," it said and pledged commitment to existing good working relationship with the GMWU.

In a statement last Friday, the GMWU called on the management of Newmont to unconditionally reinstate Mr Shaibu, describing his dismissal was "ruthless, vindictive and unfair".