Kagem ops ground to a halt

Daily Nation Newspaper - - KOPALA NEWS - By NA­TION REPORTER

OP­ER­A­TIONS at Kagem Emer­ald Min­ing Lim­ited in Lufwanyama have ground to a halt as the work stop­page en­tered the third day.

Unionised em­ploy­ees have vowed not to re­sume work un­til the man­age­ment at the World's sin­gle largest emer­ald pro­ducer of­fers them a de­cent pay rise.

The work­ers have re­jected a nine per­cent salary in­crease and have in­stead de­manded a salary rise of be­tween 35 and 50 per cent.

Minework­ers Union of Zam­bia (MUZ) Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Joseph Chewe told the Daily Na­tion in an in­ter­view in Kitwe yes­ter­day that mem­bers were ag­grieved at the low salary offer which he de­scribed as un­fair.

Mr Chewe how­ever ap­pealed to work­ers to re­sume work so that union lead­ers could get back to the round-ta­ble for a bet­ter pack­age.

"I would like to ap­peal to our mem­bers to re­sume work. On the other hand, man­age­ment should re-look at the offer so that they come up with some­thing bet­ter," Mr Chewe said

He said it was un­fair for a gi­ant emer­ald mine like Kagem to offer “un­ac­cept­ably” low salary in­crease to the hard work­ing work­ers.

"Our mem­bers are de­mand­ing an in­cre­ment of be­tween 35 and 50 per cent in­cre­ment. The nine per cent which has been of­fered to our mem­bers is not mak­ing dif­fer­ent.

"At Kagem, the high­est paid unionised worker gets K4,800, while the low­est paid gets K2,800. surely, how can a gi­ant emer­ald mine be pay­ing such peanuts!" Mr Chewe won­dered.

He said the union was not happy with work stop­pages in var­i­ous min­ing com­pa­nies, but em­ploy­ers should learn to give bet­ter and ac­cept­able salary in­cre­ments.

Last week, work­ers at the Chi­nese-owned 15 MCC Cham­bishi re­jected a K36 salary rise, de­scrib­ing it as a medi­ocre and un­ac­cept­able.

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