Ex-workers sue Lubambe

THIRTEEN former Lubambe Copper Mines (LCM) employees have sued the mining company for alleged unfair dismissal.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Kitwe High Court, Robert Mwila and 12 others want the court to order LCM to pay them their accrued annual bonuses and retirement packages as provided under the Employment Act.
They contend that LCM treated them unfairly when it terminated their permanent employment contracts and retained others on fixed term contracts without considering that they had loan obligations with various financial institutions.
The plaintiffs stated that the said loans were obtained upon recommendation from LCM that they were permanent employees.
They contended that by written contract, they were employed on a permanent basis not withstanding that they were above 55-years-old.
They stated that they are now having difficulties in meeting their children’s education needs because they have no income.
They claim that they have suffered inconvenience, loss and damage as a result of the defendant’s action to terminate their employment.
In response through their lawyers, Lubambe maintains that the plaintiffs were erroneously engaged on permanent establishment because they had passed the retirement age of 55.
The mine added that application for loans was a preserve of the plaintiffs as individuals and that the role of the employer was simply to confirm that they were employees working for the mine.
The matter comes up for hearing on July 1 before Kitwe High Court judge Chilombo Phiri.

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