Zambia recorded a total of 11 fatalities from mine accidents in 2021, 10 of which were at Chinese-owned mines whose safety conditions for workers continues to worry stakeholders including mine-worker unions.
And the Mineworkers Union of Zambia-MUZ-has announced that, its company Shimaini investment, is prospecting on starting its own mine in Zambia in one among northwestern, central and Luapula provinces in addition to its MUZ milling, transport business and Mindola dam, all of which created 500 jobs over the past five years.
Speaking in Kitwe yesterday during the MUZ Supreme Council meeting, MUZ President Joseph Chewe also disclosed that its assessment of Labour in Zambia’s major mines over the past 3 years shows that direct jobs reduced by 40 percent with lost investors opting to outsource Labour using contractors.
Mr. Chewe also disclosed that the union is currently engaging jerbos otherwise known as small scale miners to formalize their work conditions, social security and get them union representation that will see enhanced safety for them during mining operations.
The union has also lamented the impact of Covid 19 on the mining sector last year despite no single mine shutting down its operations and further, the negative impact the removal of subsidies on fuel and the impending hike on electricity prices will have on miners households and on the collective bargaining process for improved conditions of service.