Retrenched miners at Mopani Copper Mines will be paid two months salary for each year served redundancy letter signed by human resources manager P. Silungwe and obtained by the Daily Nation has revealed.
And there was heavy security presence near Mopani Copper Miners (MCM) plant in Kitwe on Monday where thousands of miners were given them letters of redundancy by the giant mining company.
The letter of redundancy dated November 19 also stated that those retrenched would have to go for medicals on November 28, 2015 so that they could be compensated should the need arise.
The mining company has decided to lay-off more than 4,000 miners because of increased load-shedding, falling copper prices at the London Metal Exchange and the continued depreciation of the Kwacha.
The mood among the miners was low and some of them were confused and did not know where to start from after being laid-off, while others talked to expressed regret that government had allowed the retrenchment to be effected.
“We have been caught unawares because we didn’t know this retrenchment could be effected. When we were reading in the media, we thought it could not be effected. We thought they were Sunday school stories.
“We now appeal to the Government to please look into our packages. We have been given little packages and this is not fair,” said one miner who looked devastated.
Last week, Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Nkole Chishimba said MCM would lay-off more than 4,000 miners because of increased load-shedding, falling copper prices at the London Metal Exchange and the continued depreciation of the Kwacha.
Mr Chishimba said the union was frustrated and saddened that despite the negotiations and proposals on how to avoid job losses, the management at the mining company had decided that more than 4,000 miners should be laid off.
“As a union, we have been negotiating with Mopani regarding the issue of preventing job losses at the mine. For us, as a union, we had made it clear that we did not want job losses, but Mopani decided to take the route of laying off miners. They have decided to lay off more than 4,000 miners.
“This is a very sad development. It is very devastating that as a union, we can lose more than 4,000 miners. This battle we have fought, it was not worth fighting because we could have found an alternative solution of saving job cuts.
I hope in future mining companies will not rush to job cuts when they are faced with such challenges,” Mr Chishimba said.