The decision by Mopani Copper Mine to close two shafts is creating tension between citizens of Zambia and government, National Union Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) President James Chansa has charged.
And Police in Kitwe have denied mine unions a permit to hold a peaceful protest against Mopani Copper Mine over plans to close down two shafts, Mindola and Central due to lack of resources to manage them.
Chansa said people are rising up against the current government due to job losses being necessitated by mining firms like Mopani Copper Mine.
He said that despite assurances from Mopani Copper Mine of reducing the number of people to lose jobs from 600 to 252, the move has not settled well with miners.
“We are not going to accept it as a labour movement, this move that Mopani is doing is rendering us the labour movement useless and above all is creating tension between the citizens of Zambia and the government of the day, and this is the reason why the government must partner in stopping Mopani from going ahead, we have a duty to help run this country,” Chansa said.
Speaking earlier, Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Joseph Chewe said the labour movement had planned to stage a peaceful protest against Mopani Copper Mines but were shocked to have been denied a permit by police.
Chewe said police did not give reasons as to why the permit to proceed was denied despite indications all was well.
“As a union we said we are not agreement with Mopani on closing of shafts and loss of about 620 jobs about 1,500 contractors, Mopani assured the nation that they will look at the numbers and were willing to dialogue, but they have insisted that they closing shafts,” Chewe said.
“Today we planned that we will protest against Mopani on retrenchments, closing of shafts the police have denied us a permit and we have decided to hold a press briefing, if we don’t talk Mopani may continue to retrench workers, we have said no job losses in the mines, these investments are now leading to job losses,” Chewe added.