Gold mining major Gold Fields has been forced to shut down its two operations in Ghana following industrial action by its employees in that country.

The companys employees at its Tarkwa and Damang mines in Ghana, in which Gold Fields has a 90% interest, embarked on illegal industrial action which has led to production at both mines being stopped.

This follows after the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMU) and its affiliates, the Professional Managerial Staff Union and the Branch Union, presented management at both mines with a number of demands on 02 April 2013, and threatened industrial action should the company not respond favourably to the demands within 24 hours.

The company advises that demands relate to a dispute in the determination of profit share payments to employees; the unconditional reinstatement of an employee who was dismissed following an internal disciplinary procedure; dissatisfaction with certain management structures; the removal of certain members of senior management; concerns about catering delivery models; and allegations of discrimination between expatriate and Ghanaian employees.

Gold Fields says it is analysing and investigating the demands as a matter of urgency. The company also appeals to all employees to maintain law and order while this process is underway as the safety and security of all employees is of primary importance.

The company holds the view that the industrial action is illegal and unprotected, which could expose participating workers to the no-work, no-pay rule as well as possible dismissal.

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