Thursday, March 13, 2008
By Mulimbi Mulaliki
Thursday March 13, 2008 [03:00]
NEGOTIATIONS for new conditions of service between Kansanshi Mining Plc, Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and National Union of Mines and Allied Workers (NUMAW) have stalled following management’s refusal to accept the workers’ demands. And government has given Kansanshi mine management up to March 31 2008 to conclude new conditions of service with the two unions, which started in January this year.
The two union representatives told workers during a meeting, which was held in Solwezi on Monday that management, had refused to increase their salaries by 50 per cent.
According to the workers who attended the meeting, the two union members resolved to stand by their demand of 50 per cent salary increment across the board, review of contracts to five years from two years and also increase of the education allowance from K100,000 to K1 million among other demands.
“We have resolved that if management still rejects our proposals then we are going to declare a dispute resulting in a industrial strike. Kansanshi mine management should stop cheating government that it pays its workers better than other mine companies because the least paid worker at Kansanshi gets K1million while at Konkola Copper Mine the least paid employee gets K1.9 million,” the workers said.
The workers said their nine proposals to management among them, 50 per cent salary increment, increase of leave passage from K200,000 to K1 million housing loans mortgage to be paid and review of two years contracts to five years, were very genuine comparing with life in Solwezi and especially that accommodation was very expensive.
According to a joint communiqué, which was read out to workers, management had refused to give them a 50 percent salary increment and to review contract of two years but had offered to increase salaries in grades.
For those in grade one and two 10 per cent, grade three 12 per cent, grade four 14 per cent and grade five 16 per cent which the two unions rejected.
Management had also refused to harmonise salaries for workers doing the same work but instead pay on individual performance.