Togo’s Phosphate Miners Hold Strike to Demand Higher Wages

Phosphate miners at the Togolese state-owned company that produces the mineral used in making fertilizers went on strike over wages, according to a worker.

“The company didn’t respect agreements over wages and premiums,” Gnine Mensah, a member of the union representing workers of Societe Nouvelle des Phosphates du Togo, said by phone yesterday from the town of Hahotoe, east of the capital, Lome. “Discussions with the authorities are continuing. But for now we have stopped work until a solution is found.”

Michel Kezie, director general of SNPT, didn’t answer a call made to his phone yesterday. Poro Egbahou, leader of the mineworkers’ union, also didn’t answer a call.

The value of Togolese phosphate exports is projected to increase to 88 billion CFA francs ($163 million) in 2015 from 80 billion francs this year, according to a February report by the International Monetary Fund on the West African nation. The lender recommended that the government reform the phosphate industry, which is dominated by the state-owned company.

Togo, a nation of 7.3 million people, has a gross domestic product of $4.34 billion, according to the World Bank.

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