PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said he will not endorse any job cuts in mine companies which have not been agreed upon with workers’ unions.
He said mining companies should respect the law of the land which required that employees and employers agreed on job cuts.
President Lungu urged unions and mining companies to coordinate and work together in finding solutions to the impending job losses in the mining industry in the face of the falling copper prices at the World Market.
He said mine unions leaders should not blame Government or politicize the impending job losses in the face of the falling copper prices at the World Market, but should coordinate with mining companies and move forward in finding solution to the problem.
President Lungu was speaking yesterday at the Presidential Lodge in Kitwe when he met mine workers union leaders from Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW), United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) and Zambia Union of Nurses Organization (ZUNO).
“As union leaders, you should always work for the workers, you should not involve politics in these issue of job losses in the mining industry. It may not be you, the MUZ president Mr Nkole Chishimba who is politicizing this issue, but your colleagues.
“I know there are other people who are saying let us vote out Edgar Lungu and PF because they have failed, but it is not Edgar Lungu who has brought these problems, these are global problems. So, am urging you, the union leaders, to coordinate with mining companies and move forward in finding solutions to the pending job losses in the mining industry,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu is today expected to attend a meeting between mineworkers union and Mopani Management.
The President is tomorrow also expected to attend a meeting between mineworkers unions and the Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) over the laying off of the workers and placing the company under Care and Maintenance.
And MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said his union was not politicizing the issue of job losses in the mining sector, but was merely crying to the government to help find the solutions to the problems in the industry.
He said the issue of job losses in the mining industry was purely an industrial relations matter and has nothing to do with politics.
“This is purely an industrial relations matter and has nothing to do with politics. You are the father of the nation and it is sad that when we cry, people start saying we are being used by politicians,” Mr Chishimba said.
And speaking after a closed door meeting with President Lungu, the union leaders said they had a fruitful meeting with the head of State because he was open to them just like the union leaders were open to him.