Kagem Mining, which operates the largest emerald mine in the world, in Lufwanyama, has signed a collective agreement with unions under which unionised employees will receive a 10% increase in basic salary for 2020 and a further 10% increase for 2021.
The company is owned 75% by London-based Gemfields in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which holds 25% on behalf of the Zambian Government.
The collective agreement followed successful negotiations between management and representatives of the National Union of Miners & Allied Workers (NUMAW) and the Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ), in which it was also agreed to enhance the company pension contribution from 15% to 20% of basic pay, bringing the effective salary increase to 15% for 2020 and 2021, and the overall increase to 22.5% over the next two years.
The parties further agreed to enhance repatriation allowance by 11% and raise the education allowance by 125% recognising the importance of education of employees’ children. Transport allowance has also been increased.
A new grading structure will be implemented and all conditions of employment have been aligned to the Employment Code Act. No. 3 of 2019.
Kagem Board Chairman Dr. Sixtus Mulenga commended union representatives for the efficient and professional manner in which negotiations were conducted and said: “The salary increment reflects expected cost of living increases, and additional benefit increases are in line with industry expectations, while recognising the need for continued investment in the gemstone sector.”
The agreement was also welcomed by Boniface Mutale, Director of the Board of Kagem representing the government, who thanked management for their input in the negotiations and said: “This is a win-win outcome that recognises employee input while also ensuring that Kagem continues to be a flag-bearer for the coloured gemstone sector, putting Zambian emeralds on the world map through continued investment in production and marketing.”
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