GOVERNMENT will not accept the laying off of workers by mining houses without following normal laid down procedures which include informing the Ministry of Labour and engagement of trade unions.
Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda said mining houses should not take advantage of the current challenges to downsize labour force but that where there was need to do so in order to improve operational efficiency, normal laid down procedures would have to be followed.
Mr. Shamenda said this in a statement yesterday following a consultative meeting held at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) Central offices in Kitwe with chief executive officers (CEOs) of various mining houses aimed at dissecting the challenges affecting the mines with regard to labour.
All the CEOs of the major mining houses save for Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) attended the meeting that was facilitated by the Chamber of Mines.
The Minister, who was giving the resolutions of the meeting, said going forward in addressing the problem of job cuts in the mining industry, no mining house would be allowed to work in isolation in addressing their individual challenges.
Mr. Shamenda said the Government, managements of mining houses and the unions would from now onwards be required to work together in order to have a win-win situation.
He said before any decision to shed off labour could taken, individual mines would have to engage with labour unions to firstly explore ways of how to minimize the impact of the current challenges.
“This is not the first time that we are having these challenges because we have gone through moments where the mining sector is facing a crisis but the only thing important and required is for all of us to work together in order to minimize the impact of these challenges,” he said.
Mr. Shamenda said in order to exclusively deal with the challenges affecting the mining industry, it was resolved that the engagement should be extended to the Ministry of Finance together with Commerce, Trade and Industry in order to look at a broader economic situation as it relates to the sector.
The Minister assured of Government’s commitment to addressing the challenges affecting the mining industry.
Mr. Shamenda, who assured that Government was on top of things in handling the crisis affecting the mining industry, said his Ministry working together with the Ministry of Mines would continue to engage the mines to ensure harmony.