|6. May 2009
Mopani Offloads 936 More Miners
MOPANI Copper Mines (MCM) has laid off more than 900 employees from its Mufulira and Nkana shafts to further reduce costs and will now maintain a workforce of 7,500 permanent employees.
Labour and Social Security Minister Austin Liato and his Mines and Minerals Development counterpart, Maxwell Mwale, said they would today hold a joint Press briefing to give the Government's position on the retrenchments.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) secretary-general Oswell Munyenyembe confirmed the retrenchment of the 936 workers in an interview in Kitwe yesterday.
Mr Munyenyembe said MCM had retrenched 368 at Mufulira and 568 employees at Nkana.
He said the MCM management had indicated that this was the last phase of retrenchment the mining company was doing and would now maintain the remaining 7,500 permanent employees.
Mr Munyenyembe said it was unfortunate that MCM had gone ahead to retrench workers when copper prices had improved.
He said that laying off of the employees was a source or worry to MUZ and suggested that the Government should empower the retrenchees with land so that they could start small-scale farming.
Mr Liato said MCM had not notified the Government on the reported retrenchments and that he received a phone call from some concerned people on the Copperbelt who notified him.
"We will issue a joint Press briefing with the Mines minister to state the Government's position," he said.
Mr Mwale said his ministry too was not briefed on the development and referred queries to Mr Liato.