LETŠENG Diamonds has dismissed as unfounded, allegations by mine workers unions’ that it engaged in unfair labour practices.
Mine unions this week presented a list of grievances to Minister of Mining, Keketso Sello, at a Monday dialogue session in Maseru, alleging the country’s diamond mines engaged in unfair labour practices from shunning trade unionism to hiring unskilled migrant workers among other things.
The workers were represented by their trade union, Construction and Mine Workers Associations Union (CAMAU). CAMAU is made up of workers from the three diamond mines Kao, Letšeng and Liqhobong.
However, Letšeng Diamonds yesterday issued a statement denying the allegations.
“Letšeng Diamonds emphatically rejects all the unfounded and damaging allegations leveled by CAMAU at the company,” Letšeng Diamonds said, adding, “The company complies with Lesotho’s legislative framework and content and respects the rights of all of its employees”.
“Furthermore, Letšeng has a proud record on localisation in all facets of its business. Letšeng management continuously and directly engages with all employees on issues of concern.
“The company’s employees further use internal grievance management procedures for grievances and the whistle-blowing facility (externally- managed) to report bribery and corruption incidents,” response reads.
Attempts to obtain comments from other diamond mines proved unsuccessful at the time of going to print.
CAMAU also accused the mines of failing to ensure that there was skills transfer to locals.
The union further alleged that locally-owned companies were discriminated in the awarding of large mining projects and also called on the mines to bank their revenue in the country in order to boost the local economy.
For his part, Minister Sello said the government would enforce adherence to the country’s laws.
“We, as government, need to step up our efforts in ensuring compliance with the laws because most of the grievances emanate from lack of adherence to the laws,” he said
He added that such a dialogue needs to take place frequently in order to make follow ups on the issues that have been raised before they could move on to discussing new issues.