CHINA State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has laid off 600 employees due to alleged lack of funding from Government for the K713 million Chipata-Chadiza-Chanida-Katete road works.
CSCEC Site Manager Yimo Wang confirmed yesterday that the decision to lay off the workers was because the company had not been receiving funding from the Government.
He said out of 600 workers, only 20 have been left at the company to handle some minor works as it was waiting for funding from the Government.
Mr Wang said the company had no capacity to pay the workers as a result of not receiving the funding from the Government for the project it was doing.
“The over 600 workers have been laid off since January when the company suspended the works due to lack of funding leaving 20 workers only,” he said.
Mr Wang said the main challenge the company was facing was the late release of funds by Government as they were unable to buy project materials and pay workers.
Mr Wang, however, assured that once the construction firm received the funding from the Government, the workers might be retained.
He also said he had written to the Government asking for the extension of eight months on the K713 million project.
He said that delays by Government to release funds forced the company to temporarily suspend the works.
But Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone said he was not aware that the workers have been laid off at the company.
The minister said the provincial administration was always open for any contractor to be channelling their grievances.
“I am not aware that they have laid off the workers and I am hearing this for the first time,”he said.
Mr Sichone said the Government through Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba recently announced that the Eurobond which was acquired would be used on various developmental projects.
He said the contractor would be funded as soon as possible to allow the continuation of the project.
Mr Sichone said it was sad that the contractor demobilised without informing the provincial administration by laying off the workers.
The minister assured the workers who lost employment not to lose hope because they would be retained by the contractor.
Times of Zambia