The Unemployment Association of Zambia has urged government to remain firm in opposing the plans by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to lay off 2,000 workers.
Association president Mpundu Mwanamwela said the plans by a mining company were against the Patriotic Front (PF) government’s vision of creating jobs for the people in order to better their lives.
Mr. Mpundu told ZANIS in a telephone interview in Lusaka today that his association supports government’s appeal to KCM management not to lay off the workers at the mine.
“Why should you lay off workers at the time when government is struggling with high unemployment in the nation? Such a move should not be supported because it will bring a lot of misery,” Mr. Mwanamwela warned.
He also advised that it would be better to hand over the mine to government than to laying off thousands of workers who have families to look after.
He said government should not tolerate such a decision because it would make the ruling party unpopular.
Mr. Mwanamwela restated that laying off workers would be contrary to the Patriotic Front’s election promises of more jobs and money to people’s pockets
Recently, Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda appealed to Zambians and miners in particular not to panic over reports that Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) intends to lay off 2,000 workers.
Mr. Shamenda said the law was very clear on procedures to be followed before any company could lay off workers adding that these procedures had not been exhausted in the case of Konkola Copper Mines.
He said KCM had informed government about its intentions to retrench but the matter had not been concluded yet.
Mr. Shamenda said it was a requirement that employers first engage the unions and government on their intentions but so far the processes had not yet been exhausted by KCM.