Kansanshi mine workers down tools again

Scores of miners at Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi went on strike, the second in nearly two months, demanding a good salary increment and improved conditions of service. Although the work stoppage was largely peaceful, there was heavy police presence in and around the mine premises.

A check by the Daily Mail found police officers from the mobile unit removing heavy steel barricades about 400 meters from the main entrance to the plant which the miners used to block the road. The miners did not allow any vehicle to go in or out of the mine area. The situation remained peaceful but tense.

Hundreds of trucks which take supplies to the mine for processing copper and gold could not enter the mine because of the strike. A further check on the Solwezi Chingola road revealed a similar situation indicating that suppliers could have been warned of the strike and possible damage to their trucks if they ventured into the mine.

A helicopter owned by First Quantum Minerals intermittently flew over the vast mining area, to ensure maximum security. Mine workers Union of Zambia and the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers officials accused Kansanshi Mine Plc management of trying to kill the two unions as negotiations for a new collective agreement remain deadlocked.

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