THE mines have no justification to retrench workers because despite low copper prices they are still making profit, Zambia Republic Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma said.
“There is no reason why the mines should lay off workers, because even if the copper prices are low, these people are still making profit; so why should they fire people?” Mr. Musoma wondered.
He said the decision to lay off miners was not genuine, but a plot to frustrate Government.
Mr Musoma charged that mine owners were being manipulated by the cartel to cause panic in the mining sector.
“What is causing them this stance to threaten to fire people is because they are buying into the manipulation of the cartel. We don’t believe that what they are doing is genuine, they are just trying to frustrate Government which is not fair and we condemn it,” he said.
Mr. Musoma urged the State to take over the mines, if the owners do not negotiate.
“We urge Government to take back the mines because if anything, the mines are supposed to be in the hands of indigenous black Zambians,” he said.
In September this year, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) which is owned by Glencore, announced the retrenchment of over 4,300 miners as part of its debt-reduction plan of US$30 billion by US$10 billion by the end of next year.
And Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has suspended operations at its Nchanga underground mine in Chingola with effect from Friday, 27th November 2015.
The mine will be back in operation “when market conditions improve, while the Chinese-owned company CNMC Limited has also suspended operations at the Baluba mine in Luanshya, resulting in the laying off of 1,600 workers.