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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Over 5,000 Anglogold Ashanti workers on strike

The mine workers say their expatriate counterparts are given preferential treatments
The mine workers say their expatriate counterparts are given preferential treatments

Over 5000 workers of the Anglogold Ashanti Limited have on Wednesday embarked on an indefinite strike over what they described as unfair wage scheme.

The general secretary of Mine Workers Union, Prince William Ankrah, accused management of being “less sensitive” to the plights of the local workers.

He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show hosted by Evans Mensah that the striking workers would only go back to work if management resolved to rectify the disparity in wage rate between local workers and expatriates, and give local workers a decent pay.

“We believe as a business they should have a social, equity conscience… We are just watching the triggers if they come to us that we talk today, we will make sure that we curtail the action; otherwise the action will continue.”

He noted that the agitating workers are pressing home the demand now because considering the quantum of work they do as compared with their expatriate counterparts, they have been cheated for far too long.

“Most of the expatriates have virtually nothing to offer,” he opined.

Mr Ankrah maintained that mine workers have over the years proven their reluctance to use strike but added the latest action is to “send signal that we can create the enablers but we can be tough as well; so management cannot take us for granted”.

He said the union is in talks with the National Mine Workers Association to escalate the strike action into a national one, hoping this and other demands could be met.

Management is said to be holding a crisis meeting to try and reach a solution to the workers' demands.

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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