26 February 2013

Zambia: Konkola Copper Mines Victimising Its Ex-Managers

KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has been accused of victimising some employees whose employment was terminated last week.

The allegedly victimised workers said management got incensed when information about the 11 senior managers that were fired last week was published in the media and started questioning them on who leaked the information.

The workers said after media reports on dismissed workers, some employees were ordered to leave the company premises immediately without giving them an opportunity to collect their personal items.

Affected workers, who sought anonymity wondered why KCM had taken such an action when expatriate workers, who were not affected in the purported downsizing were getting more than US$17,000(KR371,000)

on a monthly basis compared to what Zambians were getting.

On Thursday, KCM management dismissed 11 senior managers in a bid to 'downsize' the workforce.

The affected workers were in full-time and pensionable employment.

But workers wondered why it was only Zambian senior members of staff who were affected, if indeed the termination of employment was aimed at reducing the labour force.

They said initially, more than 50 employees were supposed to be fired but after information leaked to the media, some workers had not been given their letters of termination of employment.

"We were questioned about who leaked the information to the media and we wonder why the so-called reducing of labour force has only affected Zambians and not expatriates because some expatriates are getting a lot of money as compared to what we are getting and yet it's the locals doing most of the job," they complained.

They said it was management's wish not to let Government and members of the public know about the happenings at the mining company and appealed to the State to take keen interest at the happenings at KCM.

KCM public relations manager Joy Sata was not available for a comment by Press time.

Chingola District Commissioner George Sichula said he met KCM officials over the termination of employment of workers.

Mr Sichula said KCM management claimed that the senior managers were a liability and a cost to the company.

"I held a meeting with management and they informed me that they were paying the senior mangers huge sums of money for doing nothing and that the workers were a liability to the company.

"What is happening here is sad because the mining company seems to be against the Patriotic Front policy of job creation and putting more money in people's pockets. This is a pro-poor Government but KCM is taking such actions independently without informing us," he said.

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