Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko says the layoff of over 400 miners at Mopani Copper Mines is illegal if the mining firm did not engage mine unions on its decision.
Yesterday, Mopani Copper Mines PLC announced the cessation of operations at its Mindola north shaft in Kitwe on 31st August 2019 which will see over 400 workers losing employment.
Simukoko said the move taken by the mining company is illegal if procedure was not and said government will have to intervene in the matter.
She said government is aware of the happenings at Mopani and does not find pleasure in seeing people getting laid off.
Simukoko however indicated that it is the duty of unions to fight the decision of laying off workers and not to allow the mine to go ahead with the planned retrenchments.
But the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers –NUMAW- says the over 400 miners to be laid off by Mopani is through both voluntary service separation and redundancy declaration.
Union Treasurer, Saul Simujika says the Union is saddened with this development especially that the mining firm had recently assured the unions and government that all 600 workers who would be affected after the closure of Mindola and central shafts would to be relocated to other sections of the mine.