KCM contractors demand for better working conditions

 KCM contractors demand for better working conditions

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Various Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) contractor miners in Chingola held a peaceful protest in Watson stadium today demanding for better working conditions and salary increments.

And the voice of contractors’ spokesperson Alfred Katebe said that contractors in KCM have been fighting to have better working conditions since 2015, but no positive results has been resolved.

Mr Katebe said that the contractors are demanding for permanent jobs and salary increments because the cost of living keeps going high every day.

He said that they are tired of Local Contractors that exploit workers without any consideration of safety.

“We are tired of being used like this is not our country, we appeal to government to consider giving us one major contract that will have a permanent pay day, same conditions and with consideration to our well-being, we also appeal to government to consider reversing the minimum wages for all contractor miners,” he said.

Mr Katebe said that the contractors will only resume work if and when their demands are addressed once and for all by government.

“We are also calling on government to honor their campaign promises concerning KCM, that is why we are asking for permanent jobs, because we are not going to allow foreigners have better and permanent jobs at our expanse,” he said.

Another Miner Mwamba Kapinga alleged that contractors in KCM are not treated like human beings.

Mr Kapinga said that salaries are too minimal and are never on time, wondering how the employers expect families to survive.

“If you go to the security department, you will discover that most of the theft is committed by the contractor miners, why because they are lacking basic needs to sustain them, let the government deal with the management of KCM, that is the only way things will change,” he said.

And another contractor who chose to remain unnamed said it is unfair to have Indians in the mines operate machines that Zambians can work well with.

He said that a salary of an Indian miner should not be paying 10 Zambians working for contractors.

And addressing the Miners, Chingola Mayor Johnson Kang’ombe called on the workers to resume work as Government works to improve the working conditions.

Mr Kang’ombe also appealed for more time to allow Government deal with the issues surrounding contract miners so that the contractors’ plights are addressed.

He said that in the UPND Government casualization will be a thing of the past.

Mr Kang’ombe assured the Miners of Government’s support but encouraged them to speak through representatives to avoid down tools as this slows down production.

And Nchanga Member of Parliament Derricky Chilundika said that KCM must consider resolving the issue of salary increment with urgency.

Mr Chilundika said that he will not sit and do nothing knowing fully well that the contract miners are not well paid.

“Do not victimize contractors, instead engage and reason with them, I do not want to hear that anyone of them was fired because they demanded for their benefits, and as for my Contractors please remain law abiding citizens lets follow the procedure and ensure that we get what we want within the confines of the law,” he said.

Chingola KCM contract miners have been protesting for a long time now demanding for better working conditions and permanent jobs but to no avail.