More miners to lose jobs


MORE miners on the Copperbelt are to lose their jobs after five mining companies notified  Government that they will lay off more workers soon, Parliament heard yesterday.

And Parliament also heard that Government had no plans of nationalizing the mines where the owners intended to lay off workers.

Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security Alfridah Kansembe said official notifications had been received from Mopani Copper Mines, Konkola Copper Mines, Luanshya Copper Mines, Chibuluma Mines and Kalumbila Mines.

Ms Kansembe was responding to Mpongwe Member of Parliament Gabriel Namulambe who wanted to know whether Government was aware of the plans by some mining companies to lay off workers, and if so, what measures the State was taking to avert the impending job losses.

In her response, Ms Kansembe said Government was aware of plans by some mining companies to lay off workers.

She said according to the fact-finding mission conducted by her ministry on the Copperbelt, a number of mining companies indicated their intentions to retrench workers.

Ms Kansembe however said Government had been actively engaging the mine houses and trade unions to avert the job losses.

“The ministry met chief executives of mining companies through the Chamber of Mines to come up with amicable solutions.

“ This meeting was followed by another one involving five Cabinet ministers and the trade unions concerned also organized another one through the Chamber of Mines.

“Lastly, President Edgar Lungu met with various chief executive officers of  the mining firms together with the unions,” she said.

Ms Kansembe said Government had been consistent that jobs in the mining sector had to be preserved and that it would be achieved through dialogue between management and trade unions as well as relevant Government agencies on the issues raised.

Ms Kansembe said Government awaits the outcome of the consultations between managements of various mines and the trade unions.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda assured the House that no miners had been dismissed because the mines and the unions were still discussing.

Mr Shamenda said Government was engaged in negotiations with relevant stakeholders to save as many jobs as possible.