Tag Archives: workers rights

Minister will not intervene in Ok Tedi mine sacking

Charmaine Poriambep | LOOP PNG | February 26, 2018

Despite calls from the North Fly MP to investigate the sacking of more than 100 Ok Tedi Mining Limited employees, Mining Minister Johnson Tuke says he will not intervene with administrative issues.

He said the sacking of these workers is a management issue.

“I understand that it is grievances displayed by employees. They have a channel to go through,” stated Tuke.

Minister Tuke says Ok Tedi Mining Limited has set guidelines and regulations on how to deal with issues that arise and both parties have to be guided by those processes.

Meanwhile, OTML says it will not make any comments or statements on the matter.

North Fly MP, James Donald, recently called on Tuke to immediately intervene and direct investigations into the sacking of a group of Ok Tedi Mine employees in Western Province.

His call comes after the company management terminated more than 100 of its employees last Tuesday for staging a protest against the company.

OTML said their industrial action was illegal as it did not follow the grievance process and was not supported by the union.

They were served with termination letters on the evening of that same day (Tuesday) to leave.

Donald said sacking of employees in that manner and in such big numbers was concerning as it was signalling something worse to come.

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MP calls for probe in OTML staff sacking

North Fly MP, James Donald wants the Minister to intervene in the sacking of a group of Ok Tedi Mine employees

Freddy Mou | Loop PNG | February 23, 2018

North Fly MP, James Donald has called on the Minister for Mining, Johnson Tuke, to immediately intervene and direct investigations into the sacking of a group of Ok Tedi Mine employees in Western Province.

Donald said the Mining Minister must ensure an investigation is conducted to determine whether the termination of 100-plus workers by OTML was proper and lawful.

His call comes after the company management terminated more than 100 of its employees on Tuesday for staging a protest against the company.

OTML said their industrial action was illegal as it did not follow the grievance process and was not supported by the union.

They were served with termination letters on the evening of that same day (Tuesday) to leave.

Donald said sacking of employees in that manner and in such big number was concerning as it was signaling something worst coming.

He said he was concern about the welfare of the sacked-Papua New Guinean workers and their families and he wanted the relevant authorities including the Mining minister to immediately look into this matter.

“As Member for the host district of the Ok Tedi Mine, I’m very concerned about the welfare of those who have been sacked including their families because their welfare is paramount,” Donald said.

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Ok Tedi workers advised they were sacked because of ‘illegal stop work’

The National aka The Loggers Times | February 22, 2018

THE workers of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd sacked on Tuesday were advised in their termination letters that they had taken part in an “illegal stop work”. A copy of the letter obtained by The National yesterday dated Feb 20, 2018, read: “This letter is to inform you that you had participated in an illegal stop work and was absent from duties on Tuesday 20th of February 2018.
“As stipulated in our Terms and Conditions of your employment ‘employees resorting to withdrawing their labour or restricting other employees from working will have their employment terminated’.
“There will be no recourse to appeal. The company is therefore terminating your services effective immediately and you will be advised of your repatriation arrangements.”
The letter was signed by the manager mine maintenance and endorsed by acting manager human resources John Kalu. It was copied to Susan Songoa, the senior workplace relations adviser, and Harold Duigu, the manager human resources.

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Ok Tedi workers sacked for peaceful protest

Mine group sacked

Shirley Mauludu | The National aka The Loggers Times | 22 February 2018

THE Ok Tedi Mining Ltd has sacked a group of employees who were staging a protest at the mine site on Tuesday, telling them in a letter that their action was “illegal”.
Some of employees, who arrived on a charter flight yesterday in Port Moresby, claimed there were 191 of them who were issued termination letters on Tuesday. They were told to leave the site on a charter flight yesterday.
Henry Kuso, a spokesman for those who arrived at Jackson Airport, in Port Moresby, yesterday, said the company arranged three charter flights yesterday out of Tabubil in Western.
Mining Minister Johnson Tuke was unable to comment when contacted yesterday.
Ok Tedi managing director Peter Graham could not be reached for comment yesterday. But he had confirmed with The National on Tuesday that the protest had not affected the company operations.
“The industrial action was illegal since it did not follow the grievance process and was not supported by the union,” he said.
“Management is addressing the matter in accordance with company policy and the employee terms and conditions.”
Department of Labour and Industrial Relations Secretary Mary Morola told The National yesterday that the department was yet to be informed of what happened at Ok Tedi.
“All I can advise is that the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations has not been officially informed of the Ok Tedi matter on staff terminations,” she said.
Kuso told The National when the group of sacked workers arrived at Jackson Airport that their sacking was because of the protest on Tuesday.
The protest was to follow up on their demand to:

  • Change to current the 2/1 (two weeks on, one week off) roster for shift workers;
  • Change their current contract; and
  • Renegotiate the industrial agreement.

Kuso said the company had promised when it resumed operation in March 2016 following the drought in 2015 that it would review some of their work conditions and benefits.
“The protest (on Tuesday) was to raise our grievances to the management,” Kuso said.
“It has been two years since the resumption following the drought. Some of the things the company promised to do, it failed to honour.
“We had just a peaceful sit-in protest to get the company to come and have a face-to-face discussion with us.”
He said they had talks on Tuesday with the acting general manager who “never got back to us, not even the human resources division”.
“We sat from 6am to 4pm. We were surprised in the evening when a team from the Asset Protection Department delivered our termination letters.
“Some of us were given the termination at night while they were asleep.
“Their termination letters were shoved under their doors.
“They were advised to leave in the morning (yesterday).”

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Tolukuma Mine Staff Want Salaries Paid

Post Courier | October 4, 2017

Aggrieved workers from the Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province converged on the Petromin building in Port Moresby yesterday to vent their frustrations over outstanding salaries owed to them by their employer.

More than 400 mine workers and their families are affected – an estimated 80 percent of them locals from Goilala and 20 percent from outside the mine area.

With bills mounting including rentals and school fees, loan repayments to make with the commercial and landlords and loansharks on their case, they say this was too much to take.

To add salt to the wound, the fact that they had been given the runaround by their management on the numerous trips made to their headquarters, with the answer: “check next week”.

Clearly irate and very aware that there could be ramifications if they went public with their grievances, they decided to bite the bullet.

Spokesperson, Tera Kalak, told reporters their request to the company was simple, to be paid what is rightfully owed to them, and in cash.

“Effectively, we are owed payments for eight fortnights. It was ten, but the company gave advances, and this was recouped from two payments they made.

“We have given service to the company, and all we are asking is for the company to honour their end of the bargain and pay us.

“The laws of our country state we must be paid fortnightly,” Mr Kalak said.

He had appealed not just to the National Government, but relevant state agencies including the Labour Department, to intervene on this matter.

He said failing that, the workers would have no other choice except to seek legal advise on this matter.

A management representative, in a brief email to the Post-Courier, had advised that the company is awaiting funds from its headoffice.

“The target date is tomorrow, October 4, 2017,” the manager said.

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Harmony Gold achieves fatality free quarter in SA and Papua New Guinea

Harmony Gold Mining’s Kusasalethu mine in South Africa

If a fatality free quarter is a ‘milestone’, how many deaths are normally recorded?

Harmony Gold Mining has announced that its South African and Papua New Guinean operations achieved a milestone fatality free quarter during the June 2017 quarter.

Mining Review Africa | 14 July 2017

Harmony gold’s gold production for the 30 June 2017 financial year is estimated to be 1.088 million oz, which exceeds production guidance of 1.05 million oz. Underground recovered grade increased for a fifth consecutive year to 5.07 g/t.

“We will continue to focus on increasing cash margins through safe, predictable and profitable production” says Peter Steenkamp, CEO of Harmony.

Harmony will announce its operating and financial results for the year ended 30 June, 2017 on Thursday 17 August 2017, during a live presentation at the Hilton Hotel, Sandton, at 09h00 South African time.

In October last year Harmony Gold completed the acquisition of Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea.

The Hidden Valley mine is an open pit gold and silver mine, jointly owned and managed as part of the joint venture between Harmony and Newcrest Mining.

The mine is situated in the highly prospective area of the Morobe province in Papua New Guinea, some 210 km northwest of Port Moresby.

The major gold and silver deposits of the Morobe goldfield and Hidden Valley are hosted in the Wau Graben.

The Hidden Valley-Kaveroi and Hamata pits, located approximately 6 km apart, are in operation.

Ore mined is also treated at the Hidden Valley processing plant.

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Mine workers in Fiji not covered by Health and Safety laws

Mine workers in Fiji are not covered by Occupational Health and safety Laws

Mine workers in Fiji are not covered by Occupational Health and Safety Laws

Union: Miners not covered

Felix Chaudhary | The Fiji Times | November 26, 2016

THE mining sector is not covered under the country’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation, an issue that the Fiji Trades Union Congress is very concerned about.

FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony said miners had been promised they would have their own OHS laws since 2007, and yet, nothing had been done.

Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate confirmed the mining industry was not covered under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1996.

Mr Usamate said the Act applied to all workplaces in Fiji except workplaces or operations connected with the Mining Act, Quarries Act, Explosives Act and Petroleum (Exploration and Exploitation) Act.

“The mining industry is not covered under the health and safety at Work Act as this law deals with health and safety in general whereas in mining, there are industry specific characteristics or risks that are specific to it,” he said.

“The competencies required for mine inspectorates are industry specific whilst OHS inspectors have general health and safety competencies and the mining industry operates under stringent risk management systems that are unique to the mining industry.

“I will look into this issue ensuring at all times that the best interests of Fiji as a whole are our priority.”

Mr Anthony said mine employees worked in a dangerous industry.

“The risk of injury and even death is extremely high and there are no OHS laws to govern their workplace,” he said.

“We are very concerned about the working condition of workers in the mining industry and call on the Government to look into the matter with urgency.”

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