Three mine unions back Vedanta

 Three mine unions back Vedanta

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Three Mine Unions on the Copperbelt have expressed interest to work with Vedanta Resources if it is the only investor willing to take over the running of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

The unions said that they are willing to work with Vedanta Resources if the investor still wants to continue running KCM under conditions that will favor local residents and workers.

The three mine unions in support are the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ).

Speaking at a press briefing , the Unions have set conditions which the Indian investor must meet if they wish to continue running the mine among them to offer pensionable jobs and improving working conditions.

NUMAW Nkana Branch Chairperson Given Sinkamba said the ongoing court processes are not helping both Government and the people on the Copperbelt.

Mr Sinkamba said the issues should be resolved outside court, as they are likely to take years before resolutions are found.

He said the unions are ready to give Vedanta Resources a second chance under conditions they set.

“Under the conditions, if Vedanta Resources is to come, we want permanent and pensionable jobs, better work conditions, and the investor must be transparent and honest enough about the profits they make,” he said.

Mr Sinkamba said that issues between Government and Vedanta must be resolved to benefit Copperbelt residents and the country at large.

And MUZ Nchanga Branch Chairperson Emmanuel Singwa said the people on the Copperbelt want Konkola Copper Mines back on its feet and to be run smoothly and steadily.

“Bringing back Vedanta Resources is a better option especially that the matters are before the courts, but if that happens they should be serving the community through Cooperate Social Responsibility, all allowance must be fair that no employee must be paid in dollars, local residents should be prioritized in terms of employment,” he said.

In 2019, the Zambian Government placed Konkola Copper Mines under Liquidation and the matter has been in court.