[TABLE="width: 100%, align: left"] [TR] [TD="class: kaziBody, align: left"]Sunday October 23, 2011[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD="class: theTopicHead, align: left"][/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] By FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE, 23rd October 2011 @ 13:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 332 SUSPENDED Geita Gold Mine (GGM) trade union Chairman, Aloyce Shigela and Secretary Thomas Sabai have disputed existence of any agreement signed with the companys management to keep union activities outside the companys premises. They misinformed the minister on this because the agreement has long been severed, said Shigela over the phone from Geita on Sunday. Mr Shigela pointed out that under an agreement brokered by former Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Abas Kandoro the deal which Minister for Labour and Employment Gaudensia Kabaka was informed as being in force when she visited GGM recently had actually expired last July. Notice to abolish the agreements was served last July in relation to the Access Code while that for Code of Conduct will end this month, Shigela argued. Shigela and Sabai were suspended by GGM management over three months ago because of their conducting trade union activities within the companys premises. Ms Kabaka who visited the GGM premises, said she had failed to meet workers within the company premises to discuss their fate because of the existence of the 2005 agreement. Kabaka accused Tanzania Mine and Construction Workers Union for signing a deal with GGM management in 2005 which restricted union activities outside the companys premises. I met with a forum of workers because Tamico signed a binding contract with management in 2005 not to undertake union operations within the companys premises, she pointed out while revealing that during her meeting with workers forum, she was informed that both the Tamico branch Chairman and Secretary, Alyoce Shigela and Thomas Sabai respectively, were suspended. But Shigela accused Labour Officers from Mwanza Region of working closely with GGM management to the detriment of workers saying in one case, one labour officer who also accompanied Kabaka on her recent visit to GGM, assisted one of the contracted firms at the mine, AusDrill to close down a trade union branch office at its premises. " We ask ourselves what this labour officer is doing to protect interest of suffering Geita Gold Mine workers who are overworked and underpaid, wrote Mr Sabai in a statement. Meanwhile, a probe team established by AngloGold Ashanti and International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Union (ICEM) last May to investigate workers rights abuses, has reached an agreement to be signed soon. AGA Public Affairs Manager, Alan Fine said details of the deal remain a secret but that, We believe we have reached agreement. However, we are waiting for an opportunity for AGA and ICEM executives to meet to sign an agreement and until then we cant say anything. Activists from Legal and Human Rights Centre who visited Geita and Golden Pride mine owned by Resolute Resources earlier this year reported gross violation of workers and neighbouring villages rights by the two companies.