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Three Mine Unions to consult their members on Vedanta Resources’ return

The Labour movement on the Copperbelt say they will engage their members for their response to a possible repossession of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) by Vedanta Resources.

Three Mine unions namely Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ), National Union of Mine and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and United Mine Union of Zambia (UMUZ) says they will consult their members before jointly taking a stand on the matter.

The announcement by the unions follows a letter written to Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe dated May 5, and signed by Vedanta Resources Chief Executive officer Sunil Duggal and copied to the Mine Unions where Vedanta has stated that it has been allowed to operate the mining company.

Briefing journalists in Kitwe Monday, MUZ General Secretary George Mumba said his union expects the Minister of Mines Kabuswe to first respond to the letter in question as it was not addressed to MUZ but was only copied to the union.

“We are a worker driven union so we will go back to the work force and share the contents of the letter, and we also expect a reaction from the addressee obviously they are also supposed to give a position and for us we will also engage the workforce around Konkola Mine the give a proper position having taken note of what is in the letter,” Mr. Mumba said.

And NUMAW Secretary General James Chansa on his part says his union will comment on the matter after it consults its general membership.

Mr. Chansa told journalists that the union wants to come up with a helping solution in the whole matter and that can only be done if the unions quickly engage with their members.

There are issues that drove us to say Vedanta should move out and if there is any other position that is changing, that is why we are saying having taken note of what is here we will engage the rank and file,” Mr. Chansa said.

The three union leaders were at pains to state whether the mine was performing better under the control of the liquidator than it was under Vedanta Resources.

In 2020, before KCM was liquidated, the Mine Unions pushed for government to take over the mine from Vedanta saying the investor had failed to meet its social and financial obligations to government, suppliers and the community among other stakeholders.

In the letter that has been addressed to Mines Minister, Vedanta has promised pledged to implement a 20 per cent salary increment across the board pay a one –off payment of K2500 within three months to each employee once given back the operating license.

Vedanta also pledged to help Zambia achieve its projected three million tonnes of Copper annually.