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MINERS CRY OVER ‘UNFAIR’ DISTRIBUTION OF RELIEF MEALIE-MEAL

By SANFROSSA MANYINDA

THREE mine unions have been accused of discriminating miners in the distribution of Government relief mealtime meal.

The contractors union has accused the Mineworkers Union  of Zambia (MUZ), the National Union of Minewokers and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and the United Mine Workers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) of unfair distribution of the Covid-19 relief mealie-meal.

It is alleged that the leaders in the three unions were giving the relief mealie-meal meant for the mine contractors to their members only.

The leadership of the contracted workers also alleged that this was one of the reasons why the mine contractor employees protested in Chingola last week.

Mine Contractors and Allied Workers Union (MCAWU) General Secretary Levi Chimfwembe said that about 800 employees had not received anything.

But when contacted for a comment, NUMAW president James Chansa said the meali-meal was meant for unionised miners.

Mr Chansa said that mine workers that were not benefiting and felt sidelined were free to approach the unions.

“If there are people that are not benefiting and are mine workers or contractors, then we do not know them. What we need to do is to get to know them so that we do not just give the mealie-meal to any person who comes along the way,” he said.

Mr Chansa said that the unions were committed to ensuring that the empowerment served its intended purpose by ensuring that it went to the right people.

He stated that those that were not receiving should approach the unions so that they could also be represented.

He advised all mine workers to ensure that they belonged to the unions unlike complaining all the time over issues that they were not clear about.

Mr Chansa said the desire of the unions was to  see to it that all employees in the mining industry were not sidelined.

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