Inducing stable industrial relations
STRATEGY AND POLICIES
We see our employees as key partners in our business, and this is the foundation of our industrial relations approach.
All employees are free to join trade unions and all our host countries have the right to freedom of association enshrined in law. We recognise all groups that legitimately speak for our workers and meet with union representatives at each mine site on a monthly basis. Union representatives also attend monthly management cost reviews, quarterly board meetings, participate in regular dialogues with each mine’s general manager and sit in on strategic planning sessions.
Further to this our senior management have an open door policy for staff, who are encouraged to make contact by email with any concerns they have. Our CEO Mark Bristow also holds mass meetings twice a year at each mine. All staff are invited to attend these public forums and they provide an important opportunity for staff to raise issues or ask any questions they feel important directly with the CEO.
Each mine has a Mine Level Agreement (MLA) agreed between the local unions and management which sets out mutually agreed rules for each mine on detailed items such as salary increments or the parameters of acceptable behaviour in a strike situation. MLAs are reviewed every three years.
For the most part industrial relations across all our sites have been calm and productive in 2015.
In total there were three days of work lost to strike action over the course of the year, all coming from a strike at the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in June 2015. The biggest factor behind this strike was a combination of misinformation about the financial position of the mine – which led to some calls for unreasonable salary increases – and competition between two unions to help shore up membership.
Key to our resolution of this strike action, and an important foundation for avoiding a repetition, was the introduction of an extensive communication campaign at all mines to give specific and honest information about the revenue and profitability of the mine to all employees (rather than allowing such information to be disintermediated by union representatives). The agreement signed with the unions as part of the resolution also saw us introduce three new salary premiums to those employees with exposure to dirt, dust and danger.