THE Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) has appealed to trade unions to consider negotiating with the mine owners to reduce some of the salaries of their workers to cushion the challenge of jobs losses.
Recently, the country has witnessed some job losses in the mining sector due to low copper prices on the international market and challenges of electricity supply, which have resulted in reduced production.
But ZFE president Tyson Chisambo said the reduction of salaries could help protect jobs in the mining sector and ensure a win-win situation.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr Chisambo said the ZFE is concerned at the plight of its members as its objective is to promote and protect the interests of its members both from private and parastatal organisations.
“The issues of employment losses in the mining sector due to the challenges that have come with the low copper prices, energy deficiencies coupled with reduced production – we need to put heads together. There is need for Government, mines, unions and the employers to dialogue so that we end up with a win-win situation,” he said.
Mr Chisambo also called on Government to consider creating unemployment benefit to cushion the current job losses challenge.
He also urged Zesco Limited to explore other avenues of power in future rather than depending on hydro-power to avoid the current power problems the country is suffering.
Mr Chisambo said both solar and bio-fuel could cushion the energy deficit the country is facing if proper measures are implemented.
“The current 97 percent dependence on hydro-electricity is not prudent in the face of the effect of climate change, so diversifying into other types of renewable energy makes good sense.
“It is incumbent upon Government to put in place an enabling environment such as policies that will attract investment in alternative sources of energy for which Zambia as a country has huge potential,” he said.