The protests by Kagem Emerald mine workers has entered day two with the workers vowing not to call it off until their demands for better salaries are met.
The Emeralds and Semi Precious Stones Association of Zambia president Victor Kalesha has confirmed to News Diggers!
“Yes, the strike has entered day two. But like I started yesterday, we are hopeful that a solution will be found. The protest is still very peaceful,” Kalesha said.
The workers, are demanding a 35 per cent housing, 20 per cent hardship allowances and 50 per cent salary increment, but management has refused to heed to their demands.
On Tuesday, Kalesha commended the workers at Kagem for conducting a peaceful demonstration demanding for improved conditions of service other than revolting to destructive protests.
Kalesha stated that his association was happy with the workers’ peaceful conduct as they did not run wild, destroying property.
“We urge other companies across the country to emulate the workers at Kagem not to resort to violent protests when demanding for their labour rights. We also want to this opportunity to advise the Ministry of Labour to intensify on their inspections of companies to find out the demands of people unlike waiting for such a time of protest. We are expectant as an association that Kagem management and the union will strike a better deal out this protest,” Kalesha stated.
“Surely, indeed conditions of service should be looked into to meet the current cost of living. We want to request our members to adhere to labour laws for the benefit of human capital or human resource satisifaction. This will improve the output of production that will attract good auctions.”
Kalesha stated that his association was optimistic that Kagem would meet the workers’ demands on a win-win situation since it was a good corporate institution.
“We would also want to urge our unions to be firm in their negotiations so as not to allow such protests to take off,” stated Kalesha.
“We are mindful that the workers at Kagem have raised the outcry over the auction sales they see in public domains by their employer. But we are also mindful that the cost of mining operations is so enormous hence the need to negotiate a win-win situation that both the employees and employers are satisfied.”