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Luanshya Mine reinstates suspended miners

CHISHALA MUSONDA, Luanshya
CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines (CLM) Plc has reversed its decision to suspend seven miners who were charged with allegedly inciting other workers to strike on Monday.
CLM chief executive officer Wang Chunlai made the decision after meeting Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo at the mining company’s general office yesterday.
“There were letters to discipline them for their action, we will consider that,” Mr Wang said after a plea from Mr Lusambo.
Mr Lusambo also promised to convince the miners, with support from the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and National Union of Mineworkers and Allied Workers (NUMAW), to return for work.
A letter obtained by the Daily Mail indicates that the seven miners have been suspended.
“We have a recommendation that you be suspended without pay pending investigations into your activities during the strike action which was staged by employees on January 9, 2017,” part of the letter reads.
Mr Lusambo, in the company of Mr Wang and representatives from the two unions, addressed the miners who had gathered at Shaft 28 and asked them to resume work as negotiations continue.
The minister told the miners to return to work as management and the two unions continue with the bargaining process.
“I am affected when such things happen, and President Lungu is not happy with the strike action that is going on.
“We beg you to go back to work and very soon, we shall get back to you to inform you on the development as management and the unions negotiate. Government is very interested as you have not received an increment in three years,” he said.
The miners agreed to resume work yesterday with night shift employees returning underground for the first time since Monday’s strike action.
Mr Lusambo said he will ensure there is peace and harmony between investors and the workers on the Copperbelt Province.
He said while Government values foreign investment in the country, investors should accord respect to Zambian employees.
“People voted for us on the promise of creating jobs and improving their welfare to another level.
“The Government of President Lungu is not happy with the work stoppage and we will not sit and allow this to happen,” he said.
Luanshya mayor Nathan Chanda said there is need for mutual understanding between the mine management and the labour movement for the benefit of both parties.
Mr Chanda said CLM management started issuing suspension letters to some protesting miners on Monday night for allegedly withdrawing labour illegally.
“There is need to bend a bit and create a win-win situation,” he told the minister, who paid a courtesy call on his office.

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