NINETEEN expatriate employees at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) have been laid off after a review of operational requirements for expatriate labour.
The 19 were shed off from the list of the mining firm’s expatriates yesterday.
MCM public relations manager Cephas Sinyangwe confirmed the development in a statement issued in Kitwe yesterday.
Mr Sinyangwe said the shed-off of the company’s expatriates was an outcome of a normal review of operational requirements for expatriate labour.
“The company confirms that it has shed 19 of its expatriates today (yesterday) and this reduction was the outcome of a normal review of operational requirements for expatriate labour,” Mr Sinyangwe said.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) general secretary Joseph Chewe, who confirmed receiving information to this effect, hoped that this was an effort to empower Zambians and also as a cost-saving measure by the mining firm.
Mr Chewe said the move by MCM was encouraging to stakeholders such as the unions as it demonstrated the desire by the mining firm to implement what a cross-section of society had been asking the mines to do as not only ensuring job opportunities for locals but also cost-saving measure.
“It is our expectation that our local people will be given an opportunity to serve in those jobs that have been left vacant by these expatriates and also that those who are going to be engaged will demonstrate capacity to deliver,” Mr Chewe said.