By SILUMESI MALUMO
LUMWANA Copper Mine will not retrench any miner because it will be in breach of the mutual agreement reached with unions, National Union for Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) has said.
NUMAW president James Chansa said the mining giant agreed with the mining unions last week during a meeting that it would not abrogate the mutual agreement.
He said in an interview yesterday, there was a consensus between the parties that no miner would be retrenched as it restructured its operations.
Mr Chansa said the parties agreed that the mining giant could retrench employees in management but that miners would not be touched.
Early last week, government was shocked with Lumwana Mining Company’s decision to proceed to declare 75 of its employees redundant despite the proposal not being supported by the state.
In June this year, the mining company wrote to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security indicating its intention to lay off 75 employees as a way of reducing the requirement for labour effective September 30th 2019.
However, in a letter dated 8th August 2019 addressed to the general manager for Lumwana mine obtained by the Daily Nation, government indicated that it could not support the proposed redundancy.
One of the reasons Government opposed the proposed redundancy was that in a letter from the chief executive officer of Barrick Lumwana Mining Company dated July 19 this year to various ministries and senior government officials, he was indicated that the mining firm has performed very well in relation to its production budget for 2019.
And Mr Chansa said the mine unions and the mining giant had resolved that miners would be protected and would not be sent on the street.
“Lumwana told us their intentions to declare some workers redundant because of streamlining operations but we engaged them and we agreed that miners will not be touched. So we have agreed that miners should not be declared redundant.
“Currently if there is anyone who has been declared redundant then it people from the management and not miners,” Mr Chansa said.