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AngloGold Ashanti strike in Ghana

The headgear at
AngloGold’s Obuasi
mine in Ghana
 
Accra, Ghana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 August 2009 – Some 5 000 local workers at AngloGold Ashanti Limited’s mines in Ghana “’ who went on strike briefly yesterday in a protest over pay and working conditions “’ have resumed work.

AngloGold “’ the world’s third-largest and Africa’s top gold producer “’ said the strike had reduced underground work to minimal levels. In the latest development union leaders revealed that they had agreed that employees would resume work today while wage negotiations continued.

Earlier, local staffers at the Obuasi, Tarkwa and Idruapem mines had laid down tools over what the union complained were huge disparities in pay and working conditions compared with those of expatriate staff.

“We are not demanding equal pay. All that we are saying is that the imbalances and disparities are too much and enough is enough,” Mine Workers Union chairman Prince William Ankrah told Reuters.

AngloGold’s Johannesburg-based spokesman Alan Fine confirmed that the strike had affected mining output.

“The work stoppage in Ghana takes place in the middle of negotiations. It is unprocedural because no dispute was declared,” he added. “At the moment the plant continues to operate, the ore is being processed, but minimal work is going on underground.”

Later, AngloGold and Ankrah confirmed that work would resume ahead of a new meeting between management and unions later today.

Ankrah said that while some expatriate staffers were paid about US$20 000 (R160 000) per month in addition to allowances, local staffers such as mine captains and geologists received US$1 000 (R8 000).

AngloGold Ashanti last week outdid market expectations with an 11% rise in second-quarter earnings, but trimmed its production target for this year to 4.7 million to 4.8 million ounces due to safety stoppages and mill repairs.

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