We are working without contracts at BCP

Dear editor,

As BCP Employees the Community Forest Project based in Rhodespark (with sites in rufunsa, nyimba and mfuwe), we are calling on the Ministry of Labour to come and do some inspection at the offices so that we can get our contracts signed and also offer some protection from the hostile environment where employees continue being dismissed unfairly. Since its inception in 2014, a total of 86 employees have been terminated so far. Regarding contracts, all local employees except expatriates have been signing one year contracts (without gratuity) and the current ones expired in January 2017 we have been working without contracts to date. They have been promising to have them have them extended for a further two year term with inclusion of gratuity but that has not been forthcoming to date. The other issue is on the disciplinary code that we feel needs to be changed as it’s a tool they use to treat us unfairly. Just one example; it has more than twelve unclear offences which are classified under summary dismissal only meaning there’s no chance or warning given before someone is dismissed. Surprisingly enough, this document was signed without proof reading by some labour officer. We are tired of working without contracts for such a big organization that was awarded $14million dollars meant to benefit Zambians but instead busy diverting funds to benefit themselves on top that busy doing illegal mining/ selling of lions, no wonder banks like FNB wonder how such an individual can do such huge transactions in his own personal account (MD’s). It’s also a pity many of our that get dismissed have challenges in taking legal action for fear of being blacklisted to future employers as is normally the trend since these guys have so many networks including the people in charge of awarding projects at USAID who are secret shareholders to the same company.

We were also recently affected in Rufunsa as one of the area we were operating from was grabbed away by chief mpanshya since BCP acquired the land illegally now its been given to Rural development fund.

Zambianisation has also worsened with many unqualified expatriates taking up positions like sales officer, logistics clerk and finance clerks. They manage to do this by forging people’s documents including certificates and changing their titles on immigration documents so the committee can approve their permits with the help an immigration consultancy firm who process on their behalf. Sometimes they cheat and indicate as if an expatriate is coming for a short consultancy or coming to work for USAID when they are directly coming to work for the project itself.

Please, we are urgently calling upon the ministry of labour to investigate thoroughly, if possible even ministry of home affairs on these matters.

Yours,

Concerned employees.

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