Mining Minister Hon Byron Chan is greatly concerned about the prolonged strike by workers at the Hidden Valley mine that has lasted for three days now. Mr Chan in a press release said this has been effectively resulted in the shut down of the mine’s operations. The workers are on strike demanding better terms and conditions from the company.
It is not know how much millions of kina.
“This is an industrial matter currently between the workforce and their management to sort out. I am appealing to all parties to work towards an amicable solution as the prolonged closure of the mine is not in the best interest of all stakeholders including the workforce itself,” said the Minister
Mr Chan expressed his disappointment also at the manner in which the striking workforce conducted themselves by going on a wanton destruction of company property and where a number of employees received injuries. He said he does not condone the actions of such employees saying that police should be brought in to investigate and to deal with such individuals and if they are suspected of crime, appropriate actions should be taken.
The Minister also understands that there are rumours that gold has been illegally smuggled out of the mine. These are merely rumours and until a dedicated investigation has been carried out, he has appealed to the workforce not to use such unfounded allegations as a cause for their strike action.
“I want to assure the workforce that any gold lost through the system and not accounted for is a loss to the people of PNG and the MRA has been requested to establish the credibility of these claims and to advise me as Minister responsible so that appropriate actions can be taken by government. In the meantime, however, you as workers should not use this as an excuse to continue your strike action”.
Hon Chan is appealing to the company Morobe Mining Joint Venture to engage with the workforce and to commit to providing a detailed response to the workforce on their demands. If they are unable to resolve this matter then they should seek the intervention of the Industrial Registrar.
If the matter does get to the Industrial Registrar, then the workforce should return to work and allow the parties under the Registrar’s guidance to resolve these issues but the workforce must return to work.
MMJV says site is calm as workers continue strike
The Hidden Valley Mine run by Morobe Mining Joint Ventures is losing millions of kina as its workforce continue their strike over better working conditions. The mine in a press release stated a small group of employees were involved in an altercation with mine security at the Hidden Valley mine on Friday evening which resulted in injuries to several employees and minor damage to company property.
The majority of the injuries were minor with treatment received at the mine site however two employees were referred to Lae for further treatment and are in good condition. The mine management requested police assistance to help control the disturbance and police units from Bulolo and Lae were dispatched to the mine site. According to Hidden Valley spokesman David Wissink:
“There are formal grievance processes in place for mine employees to use but it is unfortunate that those mechanisms were not used by the employees who took matters into their own hands and injured fellow employees.”
Mine management wish those injured in the altercation a speedy recovery from their injuries and investigations are underway to determine the cause of the incident. The site is calm and discussions are underway with employees to return the operation to normal as quickly as possible.