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Northern Coffee Company workers down tools

Coffee pickers at Northern Coffee Company, Isanya plantation in Mbala district have staged a protest  to demand for improved conditions of services.

This is barely a week after their counterparts at Kateshi plantation in Kasama also protested demanding salary increment.

Edith Nakazwe , who spoke on behalf of  fellow workers, said it was regrettable that owners of the company are exploiting workers by paying them  as little as K8 for every 10kg of coffee beans picked.

Accusing company management of human rights abuses and labour violations, the workers’ representative maintained that they have downed tools until their demands are met.

And Mbala District Commissioner Annie Paul who addressed the protesting workers  said there is need to find amicable solution to the alleged poor working conditions at the company.
Mrs Paul said it is unfair for management at the company to give deaf ear to complaints from workers.

“ It will be in the best interest of the company to have a cordial understanding with both the workers and people in the area, “ she said.

The District Commissioner has since called on management to quickly resolve the impasse with its workers.

Speaking earlier, Mbala Member of Parliament, Njavwa Simutowe described coffee pickers as very important to the plantations hence the need to protect their interest.

Company representative Manager Patrick Mumba assured the workers that he will relay their complaints to top management adding that they will respond to in due course.

Last week, workers at the company’s Kateshi  branch in Kasama protested over poor conditions resulting in the death of one employee.