ZCTU commends govt

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—The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has commended government for effectively intervening in plans by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to lay off 2,000 workers.


Last month KCM announced its intention to lay off 2,000 from its current 8,263 workforce citing falling copper prices in the last one year and macroeconomic trends suggesting that the commodity will remain depressed.


Government opposed the decision and engaged the mining company over the matter that has since rescinded its decision to lay off workers.


ZCTU Secretary General, Roy Mwaba, said the union was happy that government has constructively handled the matter and managed to save jobs at the mining company.


Mr Mwaba in a statement to ZANIS said the KCM intended layoffs had the potential to send more than 10, 000 people into poverty.


Mr Mwaba further applauded KCM management for rescinding its decision after negotiations with government and the Mine Workers Unions.


“The outcome of these discussions have put fears of jobs losses to rest and is also a clear testimony that industrial relations problems can be resolved when parties engage in effective dialogue,” he said.


Mr Mwaba has since urged employers and workers in the country to emulate KCM and dialogue with stakeholders to resolve labour issues.


Meanwhile, the ZCTU Secretary General has advised government authorities to handle problems affecting workers quickly to avoid industrial unrest among workers.


He cited the recent protest by council workers across the country as a situation that could have been avoided had the Ministry of Local Government and Housing acted quickly in disbursing funds meant for salaries.


He described as retrogressive and disruptive the fact that authorities had to wait until protests before they could act and pay April and May salaries for council workers when government had already released the funds.