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Gold Fields workers’ protest was illegal — Police

Authorities in Tarkwa in the Western Region have explained that workers of Gold Fields Ghana who demonstrated today [Monday], did so without notifying them as required by the Public Order Act.

The Public Order Act says Police must be notified before any demonstration could be staged but according to the Tarkwa Divisional Commander, ACP Edmond Bosompim, his outfit did not know anything about today’s demonstration.

“They never sought any permission from the police. No one even gave us notice. The Public Order Act says you have to notify the police,” the Commander said.

 The protesters had blocked the entrance to the company obstructing workers returning from shifts, and patients trying to seek medical care from the company’s hospital.

ACP Bosompim said negotiations with the protesters proved futile prompting the police to resort to firing tear gas to disperse them.

Seven workers were also arrested following the demonstration on Monday morning.

“If everybody can just wake up and say we are blocking roads, what will the country look like? So in such situations, we don’t have to allow those things to go on and as I told you, we were able to talk to them but once they failed to understand us, there was no other option than to disperse them,” he explained.

ACP Bosompim added that “if they have any issue with the management, they can go to the appropriate place because I know they know their left from right.”

The workers were protesting Gold Fields Ghana’s decision to opt for contract mining, which is expected to result in huge retrenchments. In all, some 1,500 workers are to be affected.

This was after an Accra High Court dismissed an injunction application filed by the Ghana Mine Workers Union to stop Gold Fields from switching to contract mining.

The union argued that about 1,500 workers would lose their jobs if the company is allowed to switch from owner mining to contract mining, but the High Court dismissed the application.

Bullet casings recovered from the scene of the confrontation

About four persons reportedly left the demonstration with some injuries following the confrontation with the security personnel.

They were said to be at the Tarkwa Government Hospital receiving treatment.

Some of the protesters alleged that they were brutalized by the police.

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