Striking Zambian miners win back jobs and pay hike
10/26/2011, 5:23 p.m.
Oct. 25 (GIN)-Zambian miners ended a two-week-old strike for better pay, winning back their jobs and a pay hike from a Chinese firm. Union officials said it was a sign that Chinese-owned companies in Zambia are starting to bow to government pressure over worker rights.
Management at Non-Ferrous China Africa Mining, a unit of China Nonferrous Metals, locked out the workers who had gone on strike for a 100 percent raise from their base pay of $200 monthly.
China Nonferrous Metals was forced to back down, and the workers at the Chambishi copper mines were rehired as of Sunday night, the Wall Street Journal reported. The event, along with similar strikes at other Chinese mining facilities in Zambia, is being closely watched in Beijing.
Zambia has seen a rash of strikes at Chinese- and Indian-owned plants after newly elected President Michael Sata proposed raising the minimum wage from the current rate of $84 a month.
In 2006, Chinese managers at Chambishi shot six miners during a wage protest. Last year, at least 13 Zambian coal miners were shot by Chinese managers at the Collum coal mine.