Friday, April 22, 2011

Profusion of splinter unions worries MUZ

Profusion of splinter unions worries MUZ
By Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Fri 22 Apr. 2011, 04:00 CAT

HIDDEN forces are promoting splinter unions in the mining industry to divide the voice of workers, observes Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) General Secretary Oswell Munyenyembe.

In a statement released yesterday, Munyenyembe expressed sadness that while multinational corporations were conglomerating in larger and complex organisations, the opposite was obtaining in Zambia.

“We would like to note with grave concern the mushrooming of splinter unions in the mining industry on grounds that they are likely to weaken the hand of labour,” he stated.

“All over the world trade unions are merging to form strong and formidable trade union organisations to stand the powers and complexity of the firms we are working for.”

He stated that world trends now favoured mergers and strong voices in the union and that the mushrooming of unions was detrimental to the solidarity and strengthening of Zambian workers.

Munyenyembe urged union leaders to prioritise the interest of mergers to build strong and formidable unions if they were to stand the power and complexity of employers.

He observed that the mushrooming unions were not offering anything tangible in terms of ideas or strategies but were merely dividing and weakening the hand of labour in industrial relations.

“We would like to appeal to our employers that the promotion of rival trade unions is a recipe for industrial strife because very soon, no union will possess the legitimate voice of workers in their united sense. We would like to advise that productivity and safety in mine operations can only be guaranteed and promoted by strong and formidable unions that have a large following than the splinter unions that are currently being encouraged,” stated Munyenyembe.

He also appealed to all mine workers to work towards using the democratic ideals of their forefathers in building one strong union if their interests were to be secured.

He further stated that unity was the only way they would fight and conquer vices such as casualisation, outsourcing, sub-contracting and union busting that was currently taking centre stage.

He also urged MUZ members to remain united and focused if they were to extract tangible benefits from rising copper production and the high metal prices.

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