Erika Chao 0

Zambian workers need a change

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We are students from Taipei Fuhsing Private School, and we saw the news that Zambian workers are being abused in Chinese-run copper mining companies. The Chinese-run mines have poor health and safety conditions, including inadequate ventilation that leads to serious lung disease, the failure to replace workers’ damaged protective equipment, and constant threats to fire workers who refuses to work in poor conditions. Furthermore, these miners have to work 12-18 hours everyday without a single day off in all year, which violates Zambia’s national laws and international labor standards. According to Zambian law, workers should only work 48 hours a week, but these Chinese-run mines make their workers work over 100 hours every week. In October, 2011, miners at three of the four Chinese-run copper mines initiated strikes, hoping that the new government’s election can improve their working condition. However, the companies fired at least 1,000 strikers and didn’t do anything to improve workers’ condition. Although these events were published in 2011, the problem in Chinese-run mines has not stopped yet. We believe that these workers should have more rights and deserves better treatment. We also created a Facebook fan page to spread this news to the world and tell people that we should boycott coppers that are made in Chinese-run mining companies in Zambia until they stop abusing workers. We are all concerned about this issue and we want a change that can improve workers’ conditions in those companies.


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