Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) is set to begin a voluntary retrenchment exercise which is projected to affect approximately 1000 miners. In the latest correspondence from MCM Chief Services Manager KV Chitoshi, the company is asking employees to go on voluntary separation or opt for early retirement.
This, according to the mining company, is for purposes of reducing labor due to high operation costs. Fortunately, all Mopani Schools are exempted from the job cut exercise.
Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress (NDC) acting Spokesperson Misheck Moyo has condemned Mopani’s plans to downsize its workforce through the voluntary separation scheme. According to Mr. Moyo, job reduction is an old habit adopted by most business entities at this time of the year when unions are on their way to negotiate new packages for the workers. He further implored unions to stick to their main mission of standing up for workers.
Mr Moyo said that there is no need for MCM to reduce its labor force at this critical period when jobs are hard to come by. He also termed the reasons advanced by MCM to streamline its labor force as basic and not really convincing. This, he attributed to the fact that metal prices on the international market are relatively stable.
He was however quick to acknowledge the fact that the threats by mining conglomerates to reduce labor at this time of the year is not unheard of. Be that as it may, he encouraged the unions in the mining sector to speak out for the people to prevent job losses. This is after acknowledging that only a particular union had spoken on the job cuts.
Mr. Moyo said that unions in the mining sector would soon be meeting respective mining houses for negotiation purposes for its workers. In such situations, he asserted that it is common for most business entities to resort to blackmail so as to deceive stakeholders.