Vedanta Zambia mine workers win 11 pct pay hike

Vedanta Resources Plc's (VED.L) Zambian copper mining unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) awarded its workers an 11 percent pay rise, after unions vowed to strike if they failed to win above-inflation pay increases.

Online PR News – 19-February-2010 – – Wage increase above 9.6 pct January inflation rate
Vedanta Resources Plc's (VED.L) Zambian copper mining unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) awarded its workers an 11 percent pay rise, after unions vowed to strike if they failed to win above-inflation pay increases.

The inflation rate in Zambia, Africa's leading copper producer, stood at 9.6 percent year-on-year in January, and Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane told Reuters on Thursday the pay rise would not create price pressures on the economy.

A strike over wages by KCM workers in November halted output at most units and that, coupled with lower ore grades, reduced output at the tailings leach plant from 11,263 tonnes of copper in the three months to December 2008 to 7,922 tonnes in 2009.
"We finally concluded the negotiations after agreeing that the workers will be given an 11 percent salary increase across the board," Oswell Munyenyembe, the general secretary of the Mine Workers' Union of Zambia (MUZ) told Reuters.

A company official told Reuters that despite the wage increase being above KCM's initial offer to workers, it was still within the company's budget and would not have an adverse cost impact on its operations.
The MUZ recently agreed a separate 22 percent pay rise for employees with Equinox Minerals' (EQN.TO)(EQN.AX) Lumwana Mining Company and a 10.5 percent salary hike with Swiss firm Glencore International AG's [GLEN.UL] Mopani Copper Mines (MCM). [ID:nLDE6101LO]

Other foreign mining firms in Zambia include Canada's First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and South Africa's Metorex (MTXJ.J). (Reporting By Chris Mfula; Editing by Keiron Henderson)
Source: http://www.reuters.com

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