Management of the Ghana Mineworkers Union has lauded the contributions of members for the past 75 years through sustained mining activities in supporting the country’s economic growth.
The commendation was in a statement signed by Prince William Ankrah, the General Secretary of the Union, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, ahead of this year’s May Day celebration.
Mr Ankrah said this year’s celebration was special as the Union would role out a number of activities to mark the 75th Anniversary.
“In a show of appreciation to the hardworking miners, members of the Union will be hosted to a special get-to-gather with special anniversary souvenirs to be won in a raffle draw after the May Day parade on Wednesday, May 1.”
There will be varying anniversary souvenirs to be shared in addition to the raffle draw, which would include laptops, tablets, air-conditioners, fridges, freezers and sound systems,” he added.
As part of activities to celebrate the day, there will be discussions with employers across the mining industry for those who were unable to attend the national May Day parade to ensure all members feel part of the history of the working class.
Mr Ankrah said the Union had established a wage model with key players in the industry such as Newmont Gold and AngloGold Ashanti, aimed at using productivity matrix and other macro-economic indicators as the scientific basis for increase in salaries.
“...The Union has, over the years, raised concerns about the poor infrastructure in our mining towns. After more than a century of mining, we cannot continue to inflict this injustice on our mineral rich communities which are major sources of foreign exchange earnings for the country”.
He said the Union was using the celebration to call on government to fix the poor roads and other infrastructure in the mining areas, adding that the demonstrations in such communities showed the frustration of the people and needed urgent action to fix the yawning infrastructure gap. The Union is advocating a Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) to comprehensively accelerate the execution of major projects, especially the road networks in the mining communities. Under the PSI, the Government could, as a matter of urgency, make a special arrangement to encourage Public Private Partnership to address the infrastructure challenges in the mining towns. The Minerals Development Fund and the advanced payment of royalties could be negotiated with mining companies with good balance sheet towards that initiative, Mr Ankrah said.
“Adopting a Presidential Special Initiative, coupled with the needed political will and the right leadership, Ghanaians can be assured of an unprecedented infrastructure development and many positive changes in the mining townships. We have lamented enough over the horrid infrastructure deficit in mining towns, let’s move beyond the talk.”
Mr Ankrah said the Union, as part of its integrated plan for accelerating socio-economic progress in the mining areas, was the establishment of buffer enterprises, to offer alternative employment opportunities to sustain the local economies.
“With Public Private Partnerships, we can sustain the local economies beyond mining and that is what our peers in California in the United States of America, Australians and South Africans have done...”