MOPANI Copper Mines (MCM) has retrenched 88 employees while 114 have been sent on voluntary separation.

The Mining Company has also separated 11 workers on medical grounds as it prepares to shut down Mindola-North shaft on Saturday this week.

And Mopani Copper Mine Public Relations Manager Nebert Mulenga said in a statement released in Kitwe yesterday that Mindola- North Shaft will be shut down on August, 31, 2019.

Mr Mulenga said the closure of the shaft will result in the loss of jobs for some of the direct employees that work at the shaft.

“The closure of Mindola-North Shaft will regrettably result in the loss of jobs for some direct employees, who were based at the shaft,” he said.

 He said the Shaft will be shut down because it has reached its economic life.

Mr Mulenga said the company has organised trainings in entrepreneurship and change management for the affected employees and will continue offering them medical services.

Recently, the mining firm terminated contracts for companies that were operating at Mindola- North Shaft, leaving over 1, 200 employees jobless.

And Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) Joseph Chewe expressed regret over the decision by MCM to retrench the 88 unionised workers.

 He said the mine and the union have been engaged in several meetings, where they categorically stated that they did not want any job losses at the mine.

Mr Chewe said it is regrettable that each time MCM experiences a problem, it always resorts to retrenching workers.

“Mopani Copper Mines has been retrenching workers whenever they experience a problem, we had retrenchments in 2,000, 2008, 2015 and now 2019,” he said.

Mr Chewe said the mine has gone against what it had agreed with the Government and the union, concerning the welfare of the miners at the mine.

 He wondered why MCM was retrenching the workers when it could have just deployed them in the new shafts that it will be commissioning.

Mr Chewe appealed to the workers to use their retirement package in a prudent manner to avoid becoming destitute after leaving employment.

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