Labour Commissioner Givens Muntengwa has appealed to Kansanshi mine management in Solwezi to consider reinstating the over 200 mineworkers who had gone on an illegal sitting protest.
Mr Muntengwa said workers have the right to complain over the poor conditions of service but that the procedure used to address their opinion did not conform to the law as the collective bargaining agreement was signed under harmonious conditions.
Mr Muntengwa said this in Solwezi yesterday when he met union leaders to discuss a way forward following a sit in by First Quantum Mining and Operations Limited (FQMO) workers at Kansanshi mine last week.
“There was an agreement that if an employee feels the pension scheme in the agreement was less favorable that individual employee was at will to choose to remain with that promissory note on the old terms and conditions of service,” he said.
Mr Muntengwa said described the strike as illegal noting that no dispute exists between employees and management to warrant a go slow.
“We are here as government, we met management and the unions right now they are in the process of reviewing these cases one by one and at the end of the day there is a positive likelihood that they will take into consideration government plea as much as going on strike is not only an offence at law but also a dismissible offence there is still room for leniency to exercise on the employees involved”, Mr Muntengwa said.
And National Union of Mine and Allied Workers representative, James Chansa, said members have been represented well but cited external forces as a challenge that caused the misunderstanding.
“And if you are to follow this matter critically you will agree that the biggest pressure is created by people that are outside Kansanshi mine and this to a larger extent cause misunderstandings with our members,” he said.