Contract work which has replaced full employment by mining companies has brought in its wake poor wages and working conditions over the years in Ghana. Refusal by the companies to address these longstanding issues came to a head couple of months ago with a violent strike by workers of Ghana Bauxite Company, writes *Isaac Winful Dadzie.
Aviolent protest in June by con-tract workers of the Ghana Baux-ite Company (GBC) sharply highlighted the problems attendant on the growing use of contract labour by Ghana’s large mining firms. For two days, 17th and 18th June 2019, the management of the firm fled the premises as protesting contract workers torched company vehicles, equipment, office and residential buildings. The immediate spark for the protests was the disdainful and dismissive attitude of the company’s general manager, on returning from annual leave in China, towards proposals the workers had laid before management for addressing their long running com-plaints about their poor salary levels.
The Awaso Divisional Police Commander, Chief Supt Osei Bonsu, according to a report in Daily Graphic, Ghana’s major daily, described the destruction of properties as “colossal” adding that the workers “blocked the entrance to the mines and facilities with haulage trucks and took the keys away and the drivers were nowhere to be found”.