The government of Zambia has rejected the moved by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to lay off 1,529 workers. The company has started downsizing labour, which will see these miners  lose their jobs with immediate effect. reports that social security deputy minister Rayford Mbulu said the company had not notified the government as required by law. He pointed out that I terms of Zambian law, a firm should give notice to the government before embarking on any redundancies.

Mineworkers Union of Zambia president Nkole Chishimba expressed disappointment with KCM management over its decision to downsize labour, and especially that the company had not communicated this to key stakeholders contrary to its claim.

“We are calling on government to quickly come in and investigate why the company is behaving in this manner. This is a sign of failure to run the mine because if it’s resorting to retrenchment then the future of the mine is not certain,” Chishimba added.

According to KCM, the move is in line with its continued restructuring of operations.
The company said it was moving towards mechanisation and automation in view of the decreased copper grades at some of its mines.

Company chief executive officer Kishore Kumar announced the development in Kitwe, adding that the process of laying off the 1, 529 employees had commenced.

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Picture:  The pit at KCM, where Vedanta is moving ahead with its plan to lay off more than 1 500 workers.