By ROGERS KALERO
THE Mine workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) will continue to push and ensure that it builds a strong union power by boldly representing its members in all branches in the mining and allied industry ,” MUZ President Joseph Chewe has said.
Mr Chewe said the job of unionisation has become tougher than ever before and so securing member’s interests will require bold and strong union leaders capable of thinking outside the box.
Mr Chewe said the challenges the unions were facing today were not the same as those faced by their predecessors and therefore, unions must be tolerant to diverse views and pay attention to voices of the rank and file.
“So in this case, MUZ will continue to push and ensure that it builds a strong union power by boldly representing its members in all branches in the mining and allied industry.
“MUZ will continue to monitor the happenings in the mining sector and add its voice because our core business as a union is to provide a voice for the workers,” Mr Chewe said.
Mr Chewe also said MUZ had also noted the increase of outsourcing of labour by mining companies which had become a serious cancer that urgently needed to be uprooted to achieve the country’s decent work agenda.
He said business model of outsourcing of labour has continued to promote unstable employment, social security as well as bring misery especially amongst young workers.
“We have observed that outsourcing of labour in most companies is only a way of investors to avoid the responsibility of decent jobs in the country. The unions’ efforts to represent workers in these companies that have outsourced labour is a huge challenge.
“Yes, a huge challenge because of union busting by managements. We urge government including Members of Parliament (MP) to move a motion in parliament and address the issue,” he said.
Mr Chewe also encouraged its members to ensure that they strictly adhere to the COVID 19 guidelines while managements should ensure that they provide a safe working environment by ensuring strict adherences to the Golden rules of COVID 19 prevention.
He said MUZ will continue to sensitise members on the importance of protection and prevention by following the Golden rules and by getting vaccinated to minimise the spread of the virus.
“The COVID 19 has continued to affect the mining operations and the country at large. Despite this gloomy picture, the average copper price from January to December 2021 maintained a high of above US$9,000 compared to US$5, 834 in 2020 and further no mine has been shut down in Zambia since the outbreak of the disease.
“This is why MUZ encouraged its members to ensure that they strictly adhere to the COVID 19 guidelines while managements should ensure that they provide a safe working environment by ensuring strict adherences to the Golden rules of COVID 19 prevention. We encourage all members to get vaccinated in order to prevent our mines from being closed,” he said