La Unión Nacional de Plantación, Agricultura y Afines (NUPAAW) informaron de que cinco líderes de secciones sindicales en Nanga Farms han sido despedidos a causa de la agitación laboral que ocurrió en la granja de 16 Abril. Los dirigentes sindicales de rama son:
- Cómo Siamanenga, Presidente
- Joseph Lungu, Vice Presidente
- Kebby Muchelemba, Vicesecretario, Administración
- Kalaluka Mututwa, Vicesecretario, Financiar
- Alfred Kwale, Trustee
Their dismissal is irregular, continues NUPAAW, because as trade union leaders representing workers at the workplace they have to speak on behalf of the workers; they cannot be consider instigators of industrial unrest. Al mismo tiempo, management sent final warning letters to some 600 workers who also protested on 16 Abril, after charging them with various offences. This means that if any of the 600 becomes will be dismissed if disciplined for any other fault. The threatening and intimidating nature of these actions by management is quite evident.
The main issue is that the Nanga Farm workers’ demands are fair and just. The real cause of the industrial unrest of 16 Abril, as explained by NUPAAW and described by the company annual reports, is that Illovo Sugar operates Nanga Farms separately from Zambia Sugar, after having acquired close to 86 per cent shares in Nanga Farms in 2009. Such strategy, which ensures cane supplies to Zambia Sugar and strengthens its near sugar monopoly situation in the country, has a negative impact on the workers’ conditions of service.
En 16 Abril, the workers and their leaders at Nanga Farms were clear on their demands:
- Equalization of salaries/wages and conditions of service with Zambia Sugar
- Fixed Term Contracts which are currently for one (1) year should be changed to permanent and pensionable or be adjusted to two (2) years contracts.
- Job evaluation and grading to be done; wage structure to take into account qualifications and skills.
- Integration of Nanga Farms Plc should be accelerated.
- Separate Recognition and Collective Agreement respectively.
- Evaluation of housing units at Nanga Farms Plc
- Ambulance to carry patients referred to the Hospital.
The IUF Global Sugar Program sent a letter of protest to the management of Nanga Farms, demanding the leaders be reinstated. Illovo Sugar is the largest sugar company in Africa, with strong corporate links with AB Sugar, the sugar arm of the British conglomerate ABF.