NEW investors coming to invest in Zambia should create decent employment and be ready to endure difficult times which are caused by natural calamities like drought and others, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Chishimba Nkole has said.
Mr Nkole said new investors should be all-weather friends who should contribute to the creation of decent employment and also endure the difficult times caused by natural calamities.
He said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that the recent development where some mining companies retrenched thousands of miners due to low copper prices at the London Metal Exchange and the power restrictions in the mining industry due to load shedding was an indication that most foreign investors were not all-weather friends. Mr Chishimba, who is also Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president, said it was good that President Edgar Lungu was making trips outside the country to attract investors to come and invest in Zambia.
“We are happy to see that President Lungu is trying his best to attract investors in the country. As a labour movement, we will embrace investors who will create decent employment and endure difficult times, especially those which are caused by natural calamities.
“If foreign investors can enjoy when things are going well, they should also be ready to endure difficult times. It is not fair for investors in the mining industry to pack up their bags when the copper prices are low and enjoy quietly when copper prices are high,” Mr Nkole said.
He said new investors coming into Zambia should observe labour laws, especially the one against casualization.
Apart from advising investors to observe labour laws, the ZCTU chief also urged the investors to open up new areas and do ‘‘greenfield investment’’ in the country as opposed to investing in old infrastructure.
He said opening up new areas of investment would contribute to employment creation and national development in general.
“As a labour movement, we are not interested in fighting investors or any other employer, but to see that things are done properly and our members are being rewarded accordingly. So when these investors come here, we want to see that they observe the law and do not employ people as casuals.
“We are happy that some investors are coming into the country when Government has abolished casualization. This is a good development and we want investors to follow this law,” he said.