Lusambo calls for lifting of workers’ suspension at CLM

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Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo makes his remarks during the Copperbelt Consultative meeting in Ndola
Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo makes his remarks during the Copperbelt Consultative meeting in Ndola

Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo has charged that the mine unions are responsible for the industrial unrest on the Copperbelt.

And the Copperbelt minister has directed Luanshya Copper Mines (CLM) management to immediately lift the suspension of seven workers who were suspended this morning for allegedly inciting yesterday’s work stoppage.

And LCM Chief Executive Officer Wang Chunlai says negotiations between the mines and the unions were still going on and that the work stoppage was illegal.

Mr. Lusambo was speaking in Luanshya today when he visited CLM following yesterday’s protests by workers, who were demanding a 25 percent salary increment across the board among other conditions.

He alleged that unions were responsible for the strike actions on the Copperbelt as they were not representing the interest of the miners fully.

He further disclosed that his office had unearthed a scam in which union leaders were holding back door meetings with mine owners regarding the holding of collective bargaining and that the matter was still under investigation.

The provincial minister has since appealed to President Edgar Lungu to intervene in the matter through the ministry of Labour to ensure that workers’ rights were fully represented and respected and that the union operated accordingly.

He however said government valued the investment by CLM and other investors in the minning sector and as such was committed to finding a lasting solution to the on-going disputes in the mining industry.

And LCM Chief Executive Officer Wang Chunlai says negotiations between the mines and the unions were still going on and that the work stoppage was illegal.

Mr. Chunlai however assured the minister that he was going to withdraw the suspension of the workers, indicating that it was only meant to sound a warning.

He however appealed to government to also safeguard the interest of the investors as they look into the welfare of workers adding that the work stoppage had adversely affected the operations of the mine.

Speaking earlier Luanshya mayor Nathan Chanda said he was disappointed with the National Union of Mines and Allied workers (NUMAW)’s failure to brief the district administration and his office on the problem before it resulted into work stoppage.

Mr. Chanda said it was the responsibility of the union and not government to negotiate on behalf of workers and that government was there only to create an enabling environment for both investors and employees.

And Luanshya Acting District Commissioner Kasemuka Mwalo assured the minister that the security situation in the district was stable adding that the district police command was at hand to arrest the situation.

Yesterday, hundreds of miners of Luanshya copper mines downed tools demanding for a 25 percent salary increment across the board, saying they have not had an increment in the past three years.

The workers have since resumed work following an address by the provincial minister Bowman Lusambo, giving time to government, NUMAW and the mine to resolve the matter.

The protests ensued after NUMAW on Friday last week informed the workers that the LCM mine management had deferred the collective bargaining, the situation which angered the workers who gave the union a 48 hour ultimatum to meet their conditions.

9 COMMENTS

  1. 0
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    I still dont like Lusamb0, can someone give me a reason I should

    I highly detest him. Reminds me of my ex , was a complete m’oron.

    Thanks

    BB2014,16

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      Why ask for a 25% increase when two thirds of the workers are on garden leave due to closure of Baluba Mine? These miners are lucky to have jobs, even with 0% increment in these difficult times. Ask your friends who used to work at Baluba how much fun it is to be unemployed. Or ask Lungu to bring back always-on, always-available power to the mines like it used to be before PF.

  2. +1
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    Ministers please learn to talk in prevent such instructions you give to companies because you the ones who cause confusion amongst the management and staff. Who do you want to show that you got a big stick?

  3. +1
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    The Minister should have held this meeting comprising the Union, LCM management and his team behind closed doors. He has now created a bigger problem by accusing the Union of holding secret meetings with management for bribes maybe, no one knows apart from the Minister. Going forward, how is the Union going to negotiate if their members have been told not to trust them? As leaders, let’s have tact in the way we manage situations.

  4. +3
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    Here is another empty tin Bowman appealing to the Lazy bum in State House to intervene…you might think we are still a one party dictatorship..no governance or proper channels to follow everything is connected to State House even stealing!!

  5. +2
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    Ba Mwisho keep pushing you are the leaders ECL needs in Zambia! Kambwili has failed to address the issue right in his own backyard! So well done ba Lusambo!

  6. +1
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    Lusambo has always impressed me with his burst of energy. Give him any task and you won’t fail to notice him hard at work. Didn’t he rattle the MMD during his Diehard days? So so impressive. Another of his kind is Emmanuel Mwamba, always stands high in any potfolio. Emmanuel played his role with excellence as Chiluba’s mouthpiece regardless of FTJ’s low approval rating. Mwamba earned his pay cheque there, a lesser mortal would have abandoned his master. Kambwili can also make the grade except he’s too rough on the edges and lacks timing (a priceless asset in the political game) and is prone to disrespecting his master. Go Lusambo go.

  7. 0
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    Shame on Lusambo and his government, your government has failed to increase salaries for civil servants by not more than 3% and yet you want the mines to increase by 25%. They are following your steps, lead and they will follow. A disciplined work force is essential for development. Have you forgotten that the PF gvt fired nurses at UTH for going on an illigal strike? Suspend them, or just fire them.

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