Mineworkers at Societe AngloGold Ashanti de Guinee (SAG), a subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti, have given notice to go on strike on 7 November if their grievances are not met.
The strike at the Siguiri gold mine in the Kankan region and in Conakry, will continue until the workers’ demands are met.
The SAG workers, who belong to the Confédération Nationale Travailleurs de Guinée (CNTG), an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union, are demanding to be paid at the same levels for work of equal value, including a 13th cheque, as other AngloGold Ashanti mineworkers globally. Further, the Guinean workers are concerned that there has been no progress on the annual wage negotiations since August, and that this was the first time that the company seemed not in hurry to reach an agreement.
The workers also denounced the false wage figures given by AngloGold Ashanti to the union which were inflated by over 30 per cent. Instead, the company should publish accurate figures, and dismiss those who were providing this false information.
The workers are also demanding that their per diems for health evacuation be reinstated as per the previous agreement with the management. They were also questioning the choice of the clinic made by the management where the workers should be transferred to in the event of a medical evacuation.
Workers suspect a possible conflict of interest in the choice of PIIMEL clinic, which was not the union’s preference. The workers were surprised by the company’s about turn, and failure to respect the workers’ choice of clinic. In previous meetings AngloGold Ashanti had agreed with workers on the clinic in Conakry where they will be transferred to from Siguiri, which is about 850 km away.
Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL director for mining, said:
“We are calling for a renewal of the Global Framework Agreement which will enable the Guinea mineworkers to be paid at comparative levels with their colleagues in other countries. AngloGold Ashanti should respect the existing agreements that is has with workers, and must stop the backtracking.”