Lubambe Mine to lay off 120 workers

LUBAMBE Copper Mine in Chililabombwe is planning to lay off about 120 workers, Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) general secretary Joseph Chewe has confirmed Mr Chewe could not give further details however. Former MUZ president Andrew Mwanza expressed concern over reports that some mining firms were planning to lay off their workers. Mr Mwanza said mining firms should endeavour to engage miners’ representatives before they arrive at any decision. He said it did not augur well for mining firms to simply lay off workers when the same workers belonged to unions that could represent them during such times. “Even before thinking of laying off workers, they need to consult the co-partners but if this is not happening, that is a worrisome situation” he said. Mr Mwanza reminded the mining firms that Zambia was just coming from general elections and therefore it should be noted that any decision investors made contrary to the government’s policy of job creation may be viewed as sympathizers of the opposition.He noted that if investors continued to make decisions without consulting labour unions, they may be deemed to be having a hidden motive. The Lubambe Copper Mine was set up under a 50-50 joint venture agreement between African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Vale SA which is an underground mining operation. The joint venture has an 80 percent share, while 20 percent is held by ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc.Jesus Belzunce on  Lubambe Mine management could not be reached for comment.