Mozambique: Mozal plans to instigate collective redundancy process

19 February 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 19 Feb – The Board of Mozambique Aluminium Smelter (Mozal) is this week expected to present information to the Mozambican government to justify its plan to make 80 workers redundant, according to Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

This will mark the beginning of a negotiation and consultation process involving the union body and the employer, during which the relevance of the justifications for the collective redundancy will be discussed as well as analysing the possibility of preventing or reducing the negative impact of the decision, and the measures required to reduce their consequences on the lives of the workers affected.

The Inspector General for Labour, Joaquim Siuta, has so far given assurances that the board of the foundry is acting in line with the Labour Law, and the unions and government were now responsible for analysing the legitimacy of the arguments put forward by Mozal.

In mid 2008, Mozal blamed the energy crisis in Southern Africa for reducing its production and exports of aluminium, due to a deficit of about 10 percent in available electricity, which led to the shutdown of 47 of the 500 forges used at the foundry.

Mozal, which is one of the biggest aluminium foundries in Africa, is a partnership between BHP Billiton (Australia), Mitsubishi Co (Japan), Industrial Development Corporation (South Africa), and the Mozambican government. (macauhub)