KCM workers’ retention standoff resolved

Konkola Copper Miner - KCM
Konkola Copper Miner - KCM

GOVERNMENT and Vedanta Resources Plc, the owners of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM), have amicably resolved all differences surrounding the retention of workers at the mining giant.

Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda yesterday held a meeting with Vendanta Resources chairperson Tom Albanese, who is currently in the country for a working visit.

Last year, KCM threatened to cut down on its workforce citing operational challenges, the action which threatened to sour ties with Government.

The two parties agreed on the need to reduce the number of workers being employed as casual employees as well as engaging them on contractual basis.

Mr Shamenda said he was happy that the matters concerning the workers had been resolved and that there would not be a repeat of the challenges experienced in 2012 and last year.

He said this at a Press briefing after he held a closed-door meeting with Mr Albanese.

Times of Zambia

The minister said Zambia was the right destination for Vendanta Resources to invest in and that the international company was similarly important to Zambia’s growth.

“We have both agreed and recognised that human capital is the most important investment in a business and we have declared that there shall be no industrial unrest at the mining company this year,” Mr Shamenda said.

He said a renewed partnership would be beneficial to both Government and KCM, which was also good for business.

“With new management at Vedanta and the PF (Patriotic Front) being new in power, we have agreed to bring on table the new approach to business to have a win-win situation as we bury all our past differences and look forward to cordial work relations,” Mr Shamenda said.

Mr Albanese said in his new task as chairperson, he would concentrate on creating good work relations with the Government and the workers to ensure success of the company and the country.

He dispelled rumours that the company had been reporting false profits and losses to the Zambian Government and externalising its profits.

He acknowledged that despite making profits, there was a challenge of operational costs and that this consumed much of the profit being recorded and that in the last nine years, Vedanta had invested $2.3 billion in KCM.