Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:26:49 +0000
By ROGERS KALERO
NEWLY-appointed Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Richard Musukwa should deal with problematic investors and find solutions to challenges in the mining sector, the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has said.
In an interview in Kitwe, MUZ secretary general Joseph Chewe said the mining sector was critical to the nation and Mr. Musukwa must work hard to restore sanity in the industry.
Mr. Chewe was hopeful the new minister, a former leader in the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW), would be equal to the task.
“As we welcome him (back) to the mines ministry, we would like to tell him to deal with some problematic investors, especially the Chinese so that our members can get what they deserve.
“We also have a lot of outstanding issues which need to be addressed in the mining companies. The unions have not failed but government has not helped us,” Mr Chewe said.
He said as a former unionist, MUZ hoped Mr. Musukwa would ensure investors took care of miners’ welfare to motivate them and increase their productivity.
“For a win-win situation to be achieved, investors should motivate their employees so that they work hard and increase production. If employees are not motivated, it will be difficult for them to work hard. “Being a former union leader, we expect Mr. Musukwa to ensure that investors respect miners and give them conditions of service which are commensurate with the investment the company has put in. You cannot be called a giant mining company while your employees are getting peanuts,” he said.
He said MUZ would not betray its members but would continue to speak for them and denounce exploitative investors who were quick to retrench workers each time copper prices dropped.
“Mining companies should realize that motivated workers put in their best,” he said.