Workers at the mining tools and compressor manufacturing giant Atlas Copco in Zambia are worried that the ongoing reorganisation of the Swedish company will leave them without payments of their terminal benefits because some senior managers have colluded with labour ministry officials.
The company is undergoing reorganisation that has seen the dismantling of the three components – Mining, Compressors and parts divisions and the initial agreement arrived at in Sweden was that workers’ contracts will be terminated and all of them paid their terminal benefits then be asked to sign new contracts under new entities.
But after realising the huge amount of benefits that the workers would get, corrupt Zambian senior managers have tricked workers that the company is only changing names while the shareholding is not changing but this is contrary to the on-goings at the global head office.
If the situation is allowed, the workers risk having difficulties in accessing their terminal pay from the employer as shareholding will have changed and they are now appealing to the ministry of labour to quickly move in and safeguard the more than 100 workers’ interest.
“It is like some senior managers here have found weaknesses in the labour laws and want to capitalise on that but if allowed to happen then we are going to be left in very serious problems because it is well known that the company is dismantling and some units sold off so those that shall go to poorly performing units may later lose jobs and find it difficult to get our pays and we have reported this to the labour ministry but there has been no intervention so we suspect corruption,” said a well placed source who sought anonymity.