Letters

Don’t lay off workers in the wake of Covid-19

Dear Editor,
ZAMBIA has not been spared from the effects of Covid-19 as some people have tested positive to the pandemic. Our country has recorded 74 Covid-19 cases as of last Wednesday.
Some employers have resorted to sending their employees on leave while others have instructed their employees to work from home by making use of the internet service.
Worse still, some employers have either laid off workers or sent them on unpaid leave because of the coronavirus. This is very unfortunate considering the suffering this would cause to their families.
It is a well-known fact that the Covid-19 has crippled the global economy and Zambia has not been spared from the economic malaise prevailing in the world.
Not too long ago, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) had laid off more than 11, 000 employees citing the Covid-19 pandemic and the low price of copper at the London Metal Exchange.
It had to take the government through the Ministry of Mines to engage MCM in a protracted discussion for the latter to rescind the decision of putting the mine under care and maintenance for three months, thereby rendering the workers jobless.
I feel it is not right for some employers to either put their employees on unpaid leave or to lay them off. The Covid-19 pandemic was not created by the employees.
The employers who have dismissed their employees should rescind their decision by reinstating them.
If truth be told; the Covid-19 pandemic will one day be brought under control. Any situation, however bad, is not permanent. It has an expiry date.
ELEMIYA PHIRI,
Lusaka.

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