Lusaka, Zambia — 28 May 2013 – Amid growing anxiety among miners on the Zambian Copperbelt following the news that there will job losses from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), the government has opposed a decision by the company to retrench 2,000 members of the current 8,263 workforce.
KCM this week announced its intention to cut down on the labour force, citing the downward trend in the copper prices in the last year. allAfrica.com reports that government came out against the decision which it said would have a negative effect on the workers if implemented.
Labour and social security deputy minister Rayford Mbulu has appealed to all workers and other stakeholders to remain calm while a lasting solution is being sought.
He told a media briefing here that his ministry had held a tripartite meeting with KCM management and mine unions as part of consultations. Discussions would continue next week, and all parties had agreed that no further statements would be issued until after the conclusion of the ongoing consultations.
“In the interim it is my request that all stakeholders remain calm as we seek to find a permanent solution on the issue at hand.”
KCM public relations manager Joy Sata said the price of copper on the world market had declined by 22% in the last year and that macro-economic trends suggested it would remain depressed. “At the same time, our two key costs “’ labour and electricity “’ have been increasing constantly and substantially" Sata added.
She said KCM would make every effort to assist redundant staff find new jobs and to increase economic opportunities on the Copperbelt and around its facilities. Sata pointed out that affected employees would for now continue working until the issue was resolved with government and other stakeholders.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.