By ROGERS KALERO
ABOUT 2,000 miners at NFC Africa Mining Plc in Chambishi who were quarantined have been released and will be reporting for work from their homes.
The miners, who included 800 permanent employees of NFC Mining Plc and more than 1000 from contractors were quarantined in order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) General Secretary George Mumba confirmed that employees were released and the union was now discussing how workers would operate under the new normal.
Mr Mumba was reacting to reports that NFC Africa Mining Plc in Chambishi had placed its workers in forced quarantine for 30 days inside the mining operations area.
On Tuesday the 30 days elapsed as signed and agreed but management changed the quarantine period to three months.
Workers refused, packed their belongings and initiated a protest.
The workers had maintained that the conditions under which they were being kept were not good while the prescribed Covid-19 preventive measures were not being observed. But in response, Mr Mumba said the workers had been released and the union was now discussing with Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) and NFC Africa Mining Plc on how to operate under the new normal
“Yes, I can confirm that the workers who were quarantined at NFC Mining Plc have been released and we are now discussing how management and employees would operate under the new normal,” he said.
“We were in a meeting at CCS and now, we are meeting management at NFC Mining Plc. We hope for cooperation from both sides and achieve a win win situation in this difficult times,” Mr Mumba said.
And when contacted for a comment, NFC Mining Plc corporate affairs assistant chief executive officer John Mtonga said he would only be able to avail detailed information tomorrow (today).
“I think information will be availed to you tomorrow when we get in touch with all the stakeholders, that is the union and others,” Mr Mtonga said.
By ROGERS KALERO