MOPANI COPPER MINES EMPLOYEES PROTEST OVER UNPAID TERMINAL BENEFITS
By Michael Kaluba
Mopani Copper Mines unionized employees this morning staged a peaceful protest demanding that they be paid their terminal benefits before this year’s general elections for the period they served under former mine owners Glencore.
And the Mineworkers Union of Zambia -MUZ- and the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers -NUMAW- have given a 14-days ultimate to Stanbic Bank Zambia to stop deducting monies from miners who got loans in 2014, alleging that the initial agreed 5 years deduction period elapsed in 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the miners, Arthur Samakayi, demanded that Mopani employees receive their terminal benefits and that President Edgar Lungu should intervene in the Stanbic Bank matter.
The miners claim that loans given to the workers in 2014 and due to end in 2019, have been extended for another 5 years citing by the bank citing changes to the monetary police rate and subsequent lending rates.
And addressing the protesting miners at Katilungu house in Kitwe today, MUZ President Joseph Chewe has warned that Stanbic bank risks losing all account holders from the mining sector if the bank fails to yield to the miners demands within the next 14 days.
Meanwhile, NUMAW President James Chansa has challenged government through ZCCM-IH to ensure miners get their terminal benefits for the period served under Glencore after phase two of the mine take over commenced.
In a related development, some health workers on the copperbelt who were deployed in the system between 2016 and 2017 have lashed out at government over its laxity in handling the issue of clearing their six months salary arears owed to them for the period January to June 2017.
The aggrieved workers have complained to phoenix news saying that they are appalled with the silence by the ministry of health and the ministry of finance over their unpaid dues despite promises that they would be paid for the said period.
The disappointed workers, who were deployed in 2016, have disclosed that efforts to engage relevant authorities on the matter have so far proved futile 4 years after since deployment.
And Zambia Union of Nurses Organization -ZUNO- General Secretary Fray Michelo said the union is aware of the development and is currently engaging government to resolve the matter.