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WORKERS AT SOLOMONS’ GOLD MINE GO ON STRIKE Gold Ridge employees seek unpaid arrears from 2011

By Trixie Carter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 3, 2012) – Workers of the Gold Ridge Mining will go on strike today.

A representative of the workers’ committee who wanted his name withheld said the strike action to not attend work is the result of the company’s failure to respond to their demands.

The spokesperson n said a 14-day notice was issued on December 19 which lapsed yesterday January 2.

The workers he said demanded that the workers arrears for last year 2011 such as pay rise and pay back were not met by the company.

"The claims were put to the company in the past months for the company to address and dates were being proposed for negotiation, however the company ignored that saying they were not ready to deal with the claims."

The spokesperson said all employees will as of today stop work until a satisfactory solution is reached.

"We will not work, we will sit and wait for them to respond to us to settle our demands," he said.

He said the strike will involve local workers from all departments in the company.

He added that another letter was also issued on Friday December 30 informing the company to meet the workers on that day but they continue to refuse.

"The only answer we got from them is they are not ready to deal with us and wish to settle the arrears this year," he said.

The workers’ committee spokesperson said the company has this attitude of refusing to meet workers’ plights when asked to every year.

"There is an agreement in place that every year the company should meet with the workers to discuss issues surrounding workers’ cost of living.

"All local workers will stop work as of today until the company responds positively," he said.

Attempts to talk to the company late yesterday evening were unsuccessful.

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