By NAMUTENGA SAKAPILA
About 1, 000 miners at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) are faced with redundancy following the company desire to reduce labour.
According to latest correspondence from MCM Chief Services Manager KV Chitoshi, the company is asking employees to go on voluntary separation or opt for early retirement.
The company wants to reduce labour reportedly saying the operation costs are high.
The worry though is that only one union out of all the mine workers unions is speaking out against the 1, 000 impending job cuts at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM).
National Democratic Congress (NDC) acting Spokesperson Misheck Moyo said MCM plans to downsize its workforce through the voluntary separation scheme at both the at Mufulira and Kitwe divisions.
Mr Moyo said 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.
“This is just a form of blackmail aimed at hoodwinking Unions who are being duped into agreeing to smaller packages for the workers. We want to implore unions in the extractive industries not to depart from their core business of speaking out for workers.
“I hope Mopani will not fall into such a trap of blackmailing stakeholders. Metal prices on the international market are relatively high. Therefore the reasons advanced by MCM to streamline its labour force are basic and not really convincing,” he said.
Mr Moyo said that there is no need for MCM to reduce its labour force at this critical period when jobs are hard to come by.
All Mopani Schools are not affected by the job cut exercise.