Kitwe, Zambia — 29 May 2013 – Miners from Konkola Copper Mines plc (KCM) in Chililabombwe, Chingola and Kitwe have stormed the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) head offices in Zambia, where they protested over the mining giant’s plans to lay-off 2,000 workers.
The over 50 miners clad in black attire led by their branch officials from all the three unions “’ namely, MUZ, National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and the United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) “’ converged in Kitwe to press upon their national leaders and government not to allow KCM to go ahead with the planned down-sizing of labour, reports allAfrica.com.
Malambo Malambo who spoke on behalf of members of the three unions said the demonstration was aimed at expressing their displeasure over KCM’s plan to downsize labour for no apparent reason.
Malambo said it was unjustifiable for KCM management to attribute their planned down-sizing to workers not meeting their targets.
“It is not true that KCM employees are failing to meet their targets. It is because of management’s failure to provide tools and equipment; also a change of contractors which takes time for them to mobilise and settle,” Malambo said.
He added that the decline in production levels at KCM was not as a result of workers but management itself which had engaged contractors that were ill-qualified.
“Ninety per cent of the work at KCM is done by contractors and why should they blame workers for low productivity,” he asked.
Malambo said KCM employees had sacrificed a lot in helping management put up several projects that include the Konkola Deep mining project, the Nchanga smelter, the Konkola concentrator and many others, and that for the company to just layoff such a huge number at once was immoral and unacceptable.
He accused KCM management of trying to use retrenchment as a tool to negotiate for mineral royalty tax and increased electricity tariffs.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.