Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) Provisional Liquidator Celine Nair has denied recent claims by three unions representing workers at the company and its subsidiaries that the mine is not meeting production and planning requirements.
The Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ), the National Union of Mining and Allied Workers (NUMAW), and the United Mine Workers of Zambia (UMUZ) issued a joint statement suggesting that employees of KCM subsidiaries, the Konkola Mineral Resources Limited (KMRL) and KCM SmelterCo Limited, were reporting for work without being assigned tasks.
In a press statement, Ms. Nair said “We are truly surprised with the stance the unions have taken because KCM has been transparent and maintains an open-door policy with the unions who are key stakeholders in matters affecting the company.”
The company has denied the claims that it is failing to meet production and planning requirements and states that it provides the unions with updates each time they make a request for information. Ms. Nair said “To insinuate that employees report for work just to sit within their workstations is not only inaccurate but a malicious statement that we cannot comprehend.”
The unions had requested for a site visit last week, which was accepted by KCM management but was later cancelled by the unions due to other commitments. Ms. Nair stated that “While KCM is facing some difficulties and indeed requires bridge financing, the picture portrayed by the unions is not correct.”
KCM has called on the unions to work together to find solutions to the company’s challenges instead of making false assertions. The company has emphasized that it is committed to working with the unions and finding a resolution to any issues that may arise.
This statement was issued by Shapi Shachinda, General Manager Corporate Affairs.
Yesterday, the Mine Workers Union of Zambia disclosed that some employees at Konkola Copper Mines are reporting for duty only to sit around as there is no work for them due to a lack of resources, funding and equipment for operations.
Speaking at a joint media briefing in Kitwe, MUZ President Joseph Chewe disclosed that the situation at both Mopani and KCM is desperate as the mines are now failing to meet production, conduct planning and development as well as the going concern of dewatering at Konkola Mine which requires huge amounts of money.
Mr. Chewe is of the view that the only solution to the challenges at KCM is to return the asset into the hands of Vedanta Resources but is worried that the out of court talks to restore the mine to production are taking too long.
He says it’s the desire of the Union to be joined to the ongoing talks between the investor and the government so that the workers perspective is added and represented.
Meanwhile, United Mine-Workers Union of Zambia-UMUZ President Wisdom Ngwira explains that the unions have collectively agreed to support the return of Vedanta at KCM to prevent the mine from complete collapse but has warned that this does not entail that the investor will not be held accountable.