-Shamenda assures KCM miners

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Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda says no miners would be laid off at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) as government has stepped in to engage the mining firm and the unions .

Mr. Shamenda assured the miners that and the nation that government would take care of their interests and that no Zambian would lose employment unnecessarily.

In a statement to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr. Shamenda has appealed to miners and the rest of the nation to remain calm as government has engaged KCM management and the unions to look into the reasons behind the proposal to lay off 2000 workers.

The Labour Minister said the law was very clear on laid down procedures before any company could lay off its workers and that KCM has not exhausted the procedures.

Mr. Shamenda disclosed that KCM had informed government of its intentions to retrench workers but that the matter had not yet been concluded.

He said it was a pre-requisite that employers first engaged the union on its intentions before engaging government and KCM had not followed procedure.

And Mr. Shamenda has banned the issuance of any statements on the matter saying mining was a serious industry requiring only government to communicate to the nation.

He added that labour matters were delicate and urged Zambians to be careful with the manner in which they issued statements that affect people’s livelihood.

Two days ago, KCM announced intentions to cut down on its labour force by 2000 citing the downward trend in copper prices in the last one year.