Workers union claims over 2,300 manganese jobs may be lost, as rationing of electricity persists


The Mine, Contractors, Factory and Allied Workers Union (MCFAWU) has warned that thousands of miners in the manganese value chain are set to lose their jobs due to increased power cuts by ZESCO Limited.

The union claimed that the impending loss of 2,338 jobs in Central Province, resulting from power rationing, would impact the incomes of over 11,000 people dependent on the manganese sector.

MCFAWU president, Nkweto Kasonka, speaking during a press briefing in Ndola, stated that despite engaging Information and Media Minister, Cornelius Mweetwa, no action had been taken to address the situation.

“We would like to bring to the public’s attention the impending loss of employment, which will affect 2,338 employees,” Kasonka said.

He revealed that on July 3, 2024, ZESCO decided to cut power supply to more than 15 manganese factories.

Read More: Electricity rationing may go beyond 12 hours per day, as ZESCO struggles with imported power

As a result, factory owners have informed the union and the government that they would have to make workers redundant according to legal requirements.

“We are calling upon ZESCO to immediately restore power to the affected manganese factories. When we say immediately, we are not negotiating,” Kasonka emphasized.

Union General Secretary, Levi Chimfwembe, added that ZESCO’s decision to cut power to the manganese factories comes at a time when the nation was shifting from dependence on copper mining to include manganese mining, which had begun to generate employment, foreign exchange and taxes for the government.

He criticized the unfair distribution of power to manganese factories in Central Province.

“If those factories close down, there will be rampant illegal export of manganese minerals from the country,” Chimfwembe warned.

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