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Lumwana Copper Miners win 10% pay hike
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Thursday, 10 Jan 2013
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Workers and management at Lumwana copper mine in Zambia have agreed a 10% pay rise following weeks of negotiations, a union official said Wednesday, as labor groups push for higher wages in Africa's largest copper producing nation.

The deal marks another triumph for the country's mining unions, which have been in wage talks with several copper companies since late last year.

The company agreed to offer the miners a pay rise to help them cope with the rising cost of living, Mr Joseph Chewe, the general secretary of the Mineworkers Union of Zambia told Dow Jones Newswires. A company spokesman couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

Zambian food prices have soared in recent weeks, sparking fears they could trigger food riots. The price of corn, the staple food for the country's 13 million people, has doubled in the past two months and the government has since threatened to introduce price controls. The inflation rate increased to 7.2% in December from 6.9% in November, propelled by higher food costs.

Mr Chewe said that "We have managed to win a pay increment at Lumwana and our members are very pleased."

The deal will affect Lumwana's 1,500 miners.Lumwana, a unit of Canada - based Barrick Gold Corp becomes the third mining company in the country in just over a month to offer a pay rise in an attempt to avoid the sporadic mining strikes last year and in late 2011, though not on the scale of the wildcat action that paralyzed South Africa's sector.

Source - www.foxbusiness.com and Dow Jones Newswires

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