KCM directed to stop the transfer of 1,000 employees to its contractors

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Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson kampamba Mulenga
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson kampamba Mulenga

Government has directed Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to stop the transfer of 1,000 employees to its contractors until negotiations with the unions are concluded.

Speaking during a joint media briefing Chief Government Spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga says government will only will only intervene in the matter when the two parties have finalized their discussions.

Ms Mulenga has explained that KCM had consulted the ministry of labour and social security on the outsourcing of certain services in their operations and requested that some workers be seconded to some contractors.

She says the ministry, however, advised that issues bordering on the transfer of unionized workers be discussed with the unions in line with the various recognition agreements.

And Labour Minister Joyce Nonde is appalled at reports reaching her office regarding the transfer of the 1,000 workers to contractors.

She says it is illegal for any investor to take action on its employees before the negotiations are concluded.

Ms Nonde says if the reports regarding the impasse are indeed true, then the mining giant has broken the law.

She says such reports are recipe for anarchy, adding that KCM should follow the laws of the country.

Early today, KCM released the statement below to the media

Press Statement

CHINGOLA, 26 September 2017, Konkola

Copper Mines (KCM) has been in consultations with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Mines, the local Area Members of Parliament and the National Union on the contractor outsourcing matter for some time now.

The parties concluded that KCM would proceed to outsource contractors for the benefit of improving productivity at the Company.

Although employees would be under the management supervision of specialized contractors they would continue to remain KCM employees.

Therefore, there will be no job losses as a consequence of outsourcing and all employees would continue to enjoy full KCM conditions of service.

Contrary to reports that KCM has seconded over 1, 000 employees to contractors, KCM would like to state that no such move has taken place.

KCM remains committed to working with all the stakeholders including Government, Labour Unions and all employees in ensuring sustained security of employment.

Eugene Chungu
General Manager
Corporate Affairs
Konkola Copper Mines PLC

And the Government released the statement below in response

Republic of Zambia
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON, HON. KAMPAMBA MULENGA AND MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY, HON. JOYCE NONDE ON THE TRANSFER OF MINERS AT KONKOLA COPPER MINES

27th September, 2017

Good afternoon members of the press.

Arising from a misconception from some quarters that Government has allowed the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) management to transfer 1000 employees to its contractors, Government would like to put the record straight.

KCM had consulted the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on outsourcing certain services in their operations and requested that some workers be seconded to some of their contractors.

The Ministry advised that any issues bordering on the transfer of unionised workers to the contractors be discussed with the unions in line with their various recognition agreements.
Government wants to stress that it is the unions that negotiate with the employer, and Government only comes in when the unions upscale the matter to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security where there is an impasse.

In the issue at hand, the Unions, and management are still in negotiations.
KCM and the unions were further advised that should a collective dispute arise from their interaction or discussion then provisions of Part IX of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act 269 of the Laws of Zambia dealing with settlement of disputes should apply.

Although, both management and the unions are at liberty to make consultations with the Labour Commissioner on specific request for guidance.

However, as the Minister of Mines, Hon. Christopher Yaluma put it, KCM were told to reverse the transfer of 4,000 employees before concluding negotiations with the unions.

As far as Government is concerned, KCM agreed to abide by the directive to reverse all the transfers that it had already made before discussions with the unions.

Of course outsourcing is not illegal but KCM can only outsource if the contractor has an employment licence and abides by the provisions of section 56 of the Employment Amendment Act No. 15 of 2015 which deals with employment agency permits and this can only be done after negotiations between management and the unions.

So KCM are hereby reminded again to stop those transfers if they have started effecting them before conclusion of discussions and we urge both parties to sit and negotiate matters that relate to outsourcing.

20 COMMENTS

    • +4
      -3
      vote

      Free enterprise economy doesn’t need govt to intervene in the manner private companies run. What govt needs to do is, tax these companies to get whatever monies it can since outsourcing is meant to reduce cost of production. Sad part is govt initially played on its weaker side by providing this environment KCM is in thinking it was creating jobs. Here we are again, it’s about leadership! PF doesn’t have the ability to handle such complex matters. Let KCM run freely, but tax it!

    • +5
      0
      vote

      ……In the first place, the mines should be owned by Zambian Entrepreneurs! Capitalism never thrives without home grown capitalists. Grow up Zambia.

  1. +9
    -6
    vote

    KCM is led by greedy indians who cannot listen to anybody,so the best the PF Govnt can do is to grab this mine from those useless indians and find a new investor.
    KCM has run those mines in chingola and Chililabombwe down.all machinery left by zccm and ango-america is what KCM has been using since Levy Mwanawasa sold them the mines for a song!!
    Its high time president Edgar Lungu acted like late Michael Sata when he grabbed Zamtel from Lap Green of Libya!!any good investor does things in agreement with the Govnt of the day.sadly,KCM never listens to our Govnt.please your H.E ECL act now.its such useless investors such as KCM who almost costed PF votes in 2016 in the copperbelt.hence PF Govnt should not go into 2021 elections with such useless mine investors as it will be costly-mark my…

  2. +4
    -3
    vote

    Dont believe these empty tins in PF ….simply ask KCM to publicize the minutes from the last closed door meeting they had with govt; you will be shocked that those dumb govt tins were played again by savvy KCM Execs and they gave KCM the green light without understanding the implications.

    • +1
      -1
      vote

      @For Zambia – I am as docile as you are…why was the Union not invited when Chief Accountant was present at the last meeting. Why should you refer to union when they have already outsourced. If you want to believe this naive girl who just shouts like a marketer selling fish go ahead.
      Wake up

  3. 0
    -2
    vote

    we are definitely lacking firm political leadership here….this outsourcing saga has been going on for a while…by now a permanent solution could have been found had we had political will…

  4. +1
    -2
    vote

    Jay jay the correct response,Now look at our pf sycophant njimbu response, it the same asECL come down on them like a ton of bricks, hey njimbu zambia wants foreign investment in a stable country here you are telling potential investors if things don’t got your govts way we will just get rid of them.
    Has pf govt paid LAPGREEN over the Zamtel debacle yet, we cant even pay the court ordered debt in instalments.
    We lost ZNBC to the chinese for 25years because we couldn’t repay a debt. And you njimbu call what the pf government is doing Good Governance. Look in a mirror and be honest to yourself not to your paymasters

  5. +1
    0
    vote

    This is what we Zambians are good at doing….we build shopping mall because we like makwebo but we can not manage real industry!
    What are the laws on investment in Zambia? or do we even have any? only a foolish country can sell its mine 100%! is this country so poor that it has given away even its own people as slaves?
    God please help us!

  6. +1
    -1
    vote

    Why does KCM press release saybthey havent outsourced yet the government says they have intervened.
    Its just grandiosement by govt to say “see lookmwhat we have done, we have stopped the investors”
    The only reason zambia is attractive to mine is the cheap labour available .

  7. +1
    -1
    vote

    Ha,ha,ha…Agony is when a highly placed minister starts to swallow lies. As it stands now the mining company is doing its best to save the 1,000 jobs which if they wanted could have just terminate rather than consulting the government because of the challenges they are facing. It’s either the government keeps a low profile on the matter or they worsens the situation. The minister of mines should consider consulting the former labour minister for guidance as Mr. Fackson shamenda has been involved in such discussions before! Even Mr. New stead Zimba who sorted out such mess during the Chiluba regime. Take it or leave, the miners will blame bwana Mulenga.

    • 0
      -1
      vote

      Papa Smurf was the worst Labour minister who started this issue in the first place…the problem is politicans who get brown enevelopes from KCM.

  8. 0
    -1
    vote

    Chishimba Kambwili is working better now than when he was a minister. He has made Kampamba Mulenga to rush for a press statement meanwhile she knew these things were happening because she has access to the shushushu’s than Kambwili. Checks and balances from with the pf will bring sanity otherwise its flying to all continents, contracts and money on cadres pockets for the meantime.

  9. vote

    kcm is just creating a situation like things are not working well for them so that when time comes for them to pull out the mine, it(the mine)will be sold for a song

  10. vote

    I feel the Zambian govt is somewhat partial when it comes to issues regarding labour and labour laws.

    Some companies impress upon the govt to look into underlying matters with keen urgency whereas others do not. A case in point is what is happening at Dangote Industries in Masaiti ( of course with other companies). Employees have no union, the conditions are pathetic and nearly 90% of the company’s labour is employed by a contractor. This has been a cry for 3 years now and no effort by the govt to intervene has been noticed.

    But here comes KCM, with a threat of transferring workers to a contractor, and the govt without any hesitation whatsoever jumps to intervene in the matter. I do mean to say this is wrong, NO!! especially considering how the mining giant has contributed to govt…

  11. vote

    This move contravenes the labour laws of Zambia, how can a person who is employed by another company be under the supervision of another? Supposing one gets injured under whose responsibility the victims case be brought to, since the appointing authority under the Mining Regulations & Explosive regulations will still require KCM personnel to be under the supervision of KCM supervisors. In any mining setup each company has its own Log books under which issues of who should be responsible for who is clearly illustrated, with quotes from MR & ER. statutory laws.
    Let our unions read to the Indians that our Mining Regulation and Explosives regulations does not allow any supervisor from another company to have ownership over the employees of another as safety of such people still lays under…

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