Despite assuring the Zambian government that all jobs will be secured, Mopani Copper Mines has terminated contracts of some contractors in Kitwe and Mufulira mines, this is according to the National Union for Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW).
The developments have prompted the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development to take action.
Minister Richard Musukwa is reported to have directed his permanent secretary, Banarby Mulenga to follow the matter.
When contacted for comment Mr Musukwa said he was not aware of the decision by Mopani to backtrack on its assurance and said that he has issued a directive that the matter be followed up.
“I am directing the Permanent Secretary to follow this matter,” Mr Musukwa has said.
NUMAW president, James Chansa, said the mining company had issued termination letters to some contractors after agreeing to resume operations at the mines.
Mr Chansa said it was disheartening that Mopani could decide to terminate some contracts meaning that more workers have been thrown out on the streets.
“This move is very annoying and saddening, these contractors who have been sent away had employees so they are now in destitution,” he said.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Chansa said Mopani had assured Government that all jobs would be secured and yet it had decided to let people become jobless.
Recently, Mr Musukwa said that 11, 000 jobs that were on the verge of being lost after Mopani’s resolve to put mines on care and maintenance had been secured.
Mr Musukwa said Government and Mopani held discussions which had yielded meaningful consensus.
He said during the meeting Mopani agreed to resume operations and that the welfare of the workers had been secured, which included those directly employed by Mopani and those engaged by contractors.
Mr Chansa, however, said Mopani lied to Government because it had terminated some contracts.
“This situation is very sad because many families will be subjected to poverty. As a union we were hoping that Mopani will engage all the contractors as assured but it has gone the other route which is very sad,” Mr Chansa said.