As President Edgar Lungu and his minions are buy promoting and fanning tribal hatred, Chibuluma Mines Plc has informed Mineworkers Union of Zambia that it will soon retrench about 200 miners owing to the continuous rise in operational costs.
Given the Zambian extended family system, this means that up to 1000 households and close to 4000 individuals will be affected. By the way schools are opening next week so parents need school fees but that is when the PF is causing these job losses.
According to mine sources, the Kalulushi-based mining firm intends to slash over 200 jobs to reduce labour costs and keep the company afloat.
“The plans to cut labour have been on the cards for some time now. It’s the usual crisis facing the industry, but for Chibuluma, there is also an aspect of lack of investment, capital injection which has delayed from the investors, the Metorex Group and other partners,” said the sources.
“There are many other challenges and the company needs also to deal with issues of equipment, underground equipment which must be seriously addressed. So out of about 500 unionised workers, exclusive of the senior staff, 200 are on their way out. They will be retrenched soon and all stakeholders have been informed, including government.”
When contacted, Mineworkers Union of Zambia president Nkole Chishimba confirmed that the mine had informed the unions about its decision to cut labour.
“Yes, we have been informed and we have rejected that idea. It’s unfortunate that whenever there are some shocks in the industry, the mines want to rush for retrenchments. At Chibuluma, in fact, the issue is not about the external shocks, they haven’t been seriously affected by the power outage and they haven’t been affected seriously by the copper prices.
It’s about obsolete equipment. They did not procure equipment because of lack of capital allowances. This is a baby of government but unfortunately, the easy fix as far as this country is concerned is touching the labour force, the workers. We are saying no to this,” Chishimba, who is also president of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, said.
He said the unions had engaged the mining company in serious talks by the unions to find ways of sorting out its challenges without cutting the labour force.
“We have tried our best and we are still trying our level best to stop this. The government must also do its part to try and stop these job losses. We are responsible people and we are not trying to run away from our responsibilities. What we are saying is that our role ends somewhere because our role is advocacy and our position must be respected, supplemented and supported. We need government to seriously look into this matter and help save those jobs. We need to work together,” said Chishimba.
When contacted, Chibuluma Mines Plc, Metorex Group country manager Jackson Sikamo referred all queries to a press communications department in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“Thanks for your query. Unfortunately, all press communication is handled by our head office in Johannesburg. Should you wish to ask about the status of the business, please get in touch with our head office,” stated Sikamo in response to a press query.