Casualisation worries mineworkers union

THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) is concerned that rampant casualisation and outsourcing of labour in the mining sector has resulted in widespread poverty among workers.
MUZ general secretary Joseph Chewe said there is need to safeguard the interests and rights of workers through proper contract signing and provision of pension schemes.
He said this on Monday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour chaired by Mazabuka Central member of Parliament (MP) Gary Nkombo.
Mr Chewe said individual companies operating various mines across the country only award contracts ranging from one to two years.
“The rampant use of casualisation and outsourcing of labour in the mining sector has led to intense and widespread poverty. With this effect, the country is likely to experience a situation where people will have no benefits when they retire, hence leading to high poverty levels,” he said.
Mr Chewe said social security coverage, social dialogue, rights and the minimum wages are only limited to formal workers.
He said the labour market currently has challenges regarding realisation of decent work for the majority of workers.
Mr Chewe said challenges include illiteracy, limited infrastructure, lack of technology and information; low levels of primary health care, poor access to resources and low managerial capabilities on environmental issues.
Mr Chewe, however, commended Government for embarking on reviewing labour laws aimed at redressing poor conditions of service for Zambian workers.
He said the review of the Employment Act will clearly introduce provisions that will govern casualisation of labour.

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