Kantanshi miners down tools over pension scheme
UNIONIZED workers at First Quantum Minerals Operation (FQMO) mining division at Kansanshi Mine have downed tools after a misunderstanding on a private pension scheme with their employer.
The workers, who are demanding that a five percent private pension scheme be given directly to them, downed tools when management refused to heed their demands.
According to their 2021/2022 collective agreement, mine management and the unions agreed to introduce a company sponsored private pension scheme for all employees with the employer contributing five percent of the basic pay for each employee.
However, the employees do not want the money to go towards the pension scheme as agreed in the Collective agreement but be given to them directly.
They downed tools at the start of the night shift on Thursday September 9 and the day shift crew also followed suit. However, management has described the work stoppage by FQMO Mining Division employees as illegal as it did not conform to the current CBA between the company, the unions and employees.
In a statement to the media, Kansanshi mine public relations manager Godfrey Msiska stated that the work stoppage was illegal because the pension scheme was a mutual agreement between FQMO Mining Division management and all the unions representing the employees’ interests during the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations of December 2020.
“Consequently, management have advised employees to return to work immediately,” said Mr Msiska.
He disclosed that FQMO Mining Division is a going concern and as such, no severance package or terminal pay-out arrangement has been triggered.
He however indicated that employees would be given the opportunity to make a decision on the voluntary pension scheme, in accordance with the approved CBA agreement, once the details of the scheme itself are finalised.
BY JACKSON MAPAPAYI