Miners’ wage freeze irks Yaluma

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 11:09:53 +0000

 

By ROGERS KALERO

IT is unfair and unrealistic for any mining company not to effect salary increment to its workers when the agreement with the unions clearly states that workers should have an upward salary adjustment every year, Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma has said.

Mr Yaluma said he was concerned at the growing trend in the mining industry where some companies were awarding a zero percent salary increment to their workers despite the agreement stating that every year, the workers should receive a salary increment.

The Mines Minister was speaking in an interview in Kitwe on Tuesday in response to a question from Journalists who wanted his comment over some mining companies who were awarding their workers zero percent salary increment.

Mr Yaluma said mining companies should be fair to the workers by giving them a reasonable salary increment and improved conditions of service every time they conclude negotiations on conditions of service.

“It is an agreement between the management of various mining companies and the unions that every year, the workers should receive a salary increment and improved conditions of service, but it is disappointing that some mining companies are giving zero percent salary increment to their workers.

“Salary increment is not something that can be denied to the workers. They have families to look after and so it is a mockery to give them zero percent salary increment,” Mr Yaluma said.

He said, while he was happy that some mining companies were recalling the retrenched miners following the improved copper price at the international market, he hoped that mining companies would go further to continue with capital projects to create employment.

He said the mining industry went through a lot of challenges when the copper price was at its lowest ebb, but now that the copper price was picking up, it was important that mining companies embarked on big projects to increase copper production.

“Despite the challenges in the mining industry which were brought up by the low copper prices, some giant mining companies continued with their capital projects because they had hope that one day, the copper prices would rise.

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