By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Chingola Constituency Member of Parliament Chipoka Mulenga has urged mining companies to ensure that they put the safety of their employees first.
Speaking when he visited China Copper Mine (CMC) on a familiarization tour, Mr Chipoka was concerned about the long working hours that the employees have been subjected to at the mine.
He said that working 12 hours per shift is exploitation and unacceptable in the Zambian labour laws.
Mr Chipoka urged the union representative to ensure that the plights of the workers are well addressed as he was elected to speak for the employees.
Mr Chipoka was also disappointed at how a named contractor mine within CMC has been keeping their employees without proper PPE’s.
And one of the workers an excavator operator Arthur Sikonde appealed to the Member of Parliament to come their as they do not only work long hours but have K1.50 as over time change.
Mr Sikonde said that the MP’s visit came as a relief to the workers at the mine as the union is not helping the situation.
“Help us we have suffered, that is why we voted for because we opted that once yin power things will turn around for us, your visit here is an assurance all employees, please do not fail us,” he said.
Mr Chipoka assured the workers that government will indeed step in and address their plight.
He said that President Hichilema has keen interest in ensuring that Zambians are well treated at their work places.
Mr Chipoka also urged the workers to continue being productive and always ensure that they safeguard their lives.
And CMC manager Yuki said that they will look into the long working hours as a company so that the workers are not over worked.
Mr Yuki said that mine operates in a way that does not disadvantage the lives of its employees.
And Chingola Town Clerk Kabombo Mutekela said that one employees at the mine should be victimized for speaking out.