SEVENTY-ONE Barrick Lumwana Mine employees have been dismissed in connection with pornographic films detected in company computers.
The employees who were dismissed on Thursday following a case hearing included 40 junior staff and 31 senior staff.
National Union of Miners and Allied Workers president James Chansa and Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) general secretary Joseph Chewe confirmed the dismissals in Solwezi yesterday.
Mr Chansa said the dismissed workers were identified to have been watching pornographic films and that according to company policy governing the computer system, doing so was a dismissible offence.
“Management upon hearing of the pornographic incident instituted an investigation and 71 employees were identified and action of dismissal was taken against those involved,” Mr Chansa said.
He said the employees were identified on Wednesday, this week and that on Thursday the following day, they were dismissed.
The labour leader, however, said the union had moved in to try and reason with Lumwana management to rescind the decision to dismiss the 71.
“We know that this is an offence but looking at the number involved, we have moved in to try and reason with management to bring them back because this may definitely affect the company,” he said.
Mr Chansa said the union had also taken into consideration that the dismissed workers had families who were looking to them for survival and if the decision stood, the families would suffer.
Information obtained by the Times indicated that the dismissed workers were identified after one of them sent a pornographic film e-mail to a colleague from another company who unfortunately was caught watching the same product by his superiors.
The source said when quizzed, the employee revealed that the material came from a friend at Barrick Lumwana.
They said following the revelation, management at Lumwana was informed about the incident and an investigation was launched to identify those involved.