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UNION PLEADS FOR SACKED MINERS

BY ADRIAN MWANZA

THE Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has pleaded with First Quantum Mining Operations (FQMO) to give amnesty to miners that were dismissed for an illegal work stoppage on September 9-10.

According to First Quantum Mining and Operations Limited (FQMO)   a number of its employees from its Mining Division, based at the Kansanshi Mine, participated in an illegal work stoppage on the 9 and 10 September. 

The company  reports that the illegal action affected two work shifts and the illegal work stoppage was related to the introduction of a newly planned but voluntary employee pension scheme, following mutual agreement between FQMO Mining Division all the unions representing the employees interests during the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations in December 2020.

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But MUZ president Joseph Chewe said that the people that were dismissed needed to be brought back because they had learnt their lesson.

He said there was need to appeal to the stakeholders like other mine workers unions to ensure that they helped them with the process.

“Personally I feel that it is not fair that people have been fired while others have been returned when they all took part in the strike,” he said.

Fourteen employees were cleared of any wrongdoing and had returned to work, while a further 250 employees were dismissed but had since been reinstated on final Warnings after their appeals were approved.

Eleven employees had been dismissed after appeals against their dismissals were rejected and there was no justification for the  illegal work stoppage.

Mr Chewe said he was aware that FQMO remained committed to good faith negotiations with elected unions’ representatives, on the Pension Scheme and all other employee matters, via formerly establish channels and dispute resolution processes.   

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