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YOU ARE PROTECTED, PS ASSURES SINOMA EMPLOYEES

BY JOHN KOMBE
THE Ministry of Labour and Social Security has assured employees of Sinoma Mpande Limestone Company in Chongwe that they will still have their jobs following an agreement with the employer to let them be free from mandatory quarantine.

In an interview, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kaziya said that the employees must not feel intimidated after the ministry intervened in the matter in which they were being quarantined at the plant against their will.
He made the remarks following concerns by some employees who alleged that their jobs were now at stake as the employer had earlier warned them that whoever leaves the company yard will be fired.
The ministry over the weekend visited the plant after the employees downed their tools demanding to be released from mandatory quaran-tine. The employees complained that they were being quarantined against their will and could no longer take it.
Mr. Kaziya disclosed that the employees demanded that they be released and report for work from home. He said that they also demanded that a union branch be formed and their contracts be revised.
He disclosed that these matters were resolved and the workers were free to go home. He also said that management agreed to have a union branch at the plant.
According to Mr Kaziya, a union branch would be formed by the end of the month and the conditions of service be agreed with those who will opt to stay in quarantine.
He however revealed that the employees were divided as some wanted to stay. He said that those who opt to stay must not blame his min-istry as this was their own choice.
He stressed that the ministry could not force matters on them if they agree to be quarantined as this was between the employer and em-ployees.
Mr Kaziya assured the employees that management agreed that no one will lose their job if they decide to be coming from their homes. He said it was this fear of losing jobs that employers take advantage of.
He said the workers must not even be intimidated by their supervisors because they were protected by the agreement made in a meeting between his ministry and management.

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