Govt-KCM still in dialogue
Ndola, June 4, 2013, ZANIS – Government says laying off workers at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) should be the last option as it is still dialoguing with management and union leaders at the mine.
Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda said in Ndola yesterday that decisions to lay-off workers in companies being run by investors in the country should be the last option.
Mr Shamenda said government was open to investors and wants to help them so that jobs for the majority Zambians are maintained.
Mr Shamenda explained that when government said it cannot fail to run the mines it did not mean that it would take over the operations of KCM.
“If government says it cannot fail to run the mines, it does not mean that we want to go back to nationalization, what it means is that government is capable of finding other investors who can take over the running of these mines,” Mr Shamenda explained.
He said laying off over 2000 workers is a large number adding that in some countries the number of miners KCM wants to lay off would be an entire workforce at a mine.
He said those that have invested in the country should ensure that jobs are maintained and created saying shedding off workers should be the last option.
Mr Shamenda said government would ensure that there is a win-win situation between the investors and the government for the betterment of the people of Zambia.
KCM recently announced its decision to lay off 2,000 permanent employees across all its operations in the country.
But mines deputy minister Richard Musukwa says the government has rejected KCM’s plans and has further challenged the company to surrender the mine to the state if they have failed to run it.
The decision was communicated in a letter dated May 23, 2013 addressed to the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) by KCM vice-president for human capital David Kaunda .
Mr Kaunda stated in the letter that KCM had been impacted by a number of economic and legacy issues that had made it imperative to review its operations for its continued viability.