Zambian miners at Chinese-owned Sino Metals copper plant in the Copperbelt went on strike Friday as a wave of wage demands continue to spread at Chinese-owned mines in Africa’s top copper miner, a union official told Dow Jones Newswires Friday.
Speaking by telephone from the copper mining city of Kitwe, Goodwell Kaluba, the general secretary of the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers, said hundreds of miners at the copper plant downed tools Friday highlighting growing impatience with the Chinese-owned enterprises in the country following last month’s election victory of Michael Sata, a strong critic of Chinese investments in Zambia.
“The strikes are spreading and the miners don’t want to listen to their union leaders,” he said.
Output at Chinese-owned Chambishi Copper Mine has been disrupted since Wednesday following a miners’ strike, in which the workers are demanding a 100% wage increment, bringing them into line with counterparts at other mines such as Vedanta Resources PLC’s (VED.LN) Konkola Copper Mines and Glencore International AG (GLEN.LN).
Chambishi is operated by Chinese-owned NCFA Mining, a unit of China Nonferrous Metals Corp. (8306.HK) which also operates the 150,000 tons-a-year Chambishi Copper Smelter and the Luanshya Copper Mines.
Union official said Chinese-owned mines pay the lowest wages in the country.