A strike and subsequent sackings at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) in Zambia have attracted widespread media focus on Chinese investments in extractives in Africa. More on that later, but first here is a chronology of reporting on events:
- 27 Feb: Gao Hucheng - Chinese deputy minister of commerce - assures Zambians that the majority of jobs at CCS currently under construction will go to Zambians.
- 2 Mar: More than 500 workers at CCS staged a work stoppage to press for improved wages and conditions. Reports stated that workers were earning as little as K291, 200 (US$78) per month and that Chinese management was allegedly not following Zambian labour laws.
- 3 Mar: Workers rioted, injuring a Chinese manager and damaging property.
- 3 Mar: Chinese managers taken hostage.
- 4 Mar: Workers set fire to a truck and a guardroom before smashed windows and damaging other property.
- 5 Mar: Chinese management fired 500 employees involved in the riots.
- 6 Mar: 500 sacked workers to be reinstated and negotiation over wages to start.
- 7 Mar: Construction workers start work again.
CCS is a joint venture between China Nonferrous Metal Mining (CNMC) and Yunnan Copper Industry (YNCIG), but German company Norddeutsche and Australia's Ord River Resources Limited also reportedly have a stake in the venture.