The Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has called for calm among its general membership in view of the international statement by Mopani Copper Mines (MCM)’s parent company, Glencore, announcing its plans to suspend copper production in Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said the union was actively engaging management at MCM with the view to finding solutions to the challenges affecting the company.Mr Chishimba who is also Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president said the international statement by Glencore should not make MCM employees lose hope.
He said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that following the international statement by Glencore, the union held a series of meetings with MCM management aimed at consulting each other and finding solutions to the challenges.
“We received a hit that Glencore was going to make an international statement and that statement has come but what we don’t know is how they are going to move at local level.
“For us Glencore is a parent company with mining companies in various countries and all these have their peculiarities except what is the same is the copper prices,” he said.
Mr Chishimba said with the competent team at MCM, he expected objectivity and progressive ideas aimed at salvaging the mining firm to be floated.
This was not the first time that the country was encountering crisis in the mining sector as a similar situation during the global economic crunch occurred.
“We have trust in Mopani team’s ability to manage things because to its full of competent people and so we can only urge our members to keep calm,” he said.
Mr Chishimba, however, emphasized the need for the statement by Glencore to be managed with utmost care by MCM management so as not to allow it affect the morale of miners because ultimately, this could impact on production.
Uncertainty surrounding the future of employees at MCM had serious potential to affect productivity.
Meanwhile, Mr Chishimba expressed happiness with Government for having taken a progressive stance not to allow CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines to put Baluba Mine under care and maintenance and ultimately lay off over 1, 500 miners.
“This is how sensitive Government should be and we are supporting that move because procedure has not been followed,” he said.
Mr Chishimba said to his knowledge, procedure has not been adhered to as the unions were equally not informed about the move to place Baluba Mine under care and maintenance.