By Aaron Chiyanzo IN Chingola.
KCM’s plan to invest about $1 billion in its operations in Zambia in order to increase copper production from the current 150,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes per annum has been welcomed by government . The mining giant will therefore need to use other contractors to achieve this and the government wants workers to cooperate and agree with outsourcing because the law allows this.
Minister of Labour and Social Services, Joyce Nonde Simukoko said yesterday that laws in Zambia allow outsourcing of employees as long as its done in accordance with the constitution and in good faith,
Ms Simukoko said that outsourcing of employees in Zambia was not a new thing and that it was in line with the laws of the land.
She however reiterated that outsourcing in Zambia had a bad standing because some companies had handled it wrongly.
The minister said this in Chingola yesterday when she and Mines minister Christopher Yaluma and Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davis Mwila met KCM employees.
She explained that some contractors to whom workers had been outsourced to in the past had mistreated employees, adding that they had dented the whole process.
Ms Simukoko however said that outsourcing was not bad as it created more employment opportunities and empowered more people.
she said government was interested in seeing production increased and the welfare of employees and local people enhanced.
Ms Simukoko emphasised the need for mining companies to also take advantage of the increased copper prices on the international market so that the nation could benefit.
“Laws of Zambia allow outsourcing as long as its done in accordance with the law. Outsourcing is not new in Zambia, what’s important is to manage the process. outsourcing is not a bad thing, it creates employment. Also we want to see increased production,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr Yaluma welcomed KCM’s plan to invest about $1 billion in its operations in Zambia to increase copper production from the current 150,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes per annum.
The minister pointed out that once production was up, that would entail increased tax to government as well.
He advised the mining giant to take the outsourcing process at easy and follow all laid down procedures.
Mr Yaluma warned that government would cancel licences for any mining company that ill-treated it’s employees and abrogated laid down regulations.
He emphasised that in as much as government would not interfere with the reconciliatory processes between KCM and the unions, following a declared dispute, it would continue monitoring the whole process.