Mar 05, 2012 (Dow Jones) -- A labor dispute at Zambia's largest copper producer, Kansanshi Copper Mines, has deepened after the two sides failed to agree on the term of a labor contract over the weekend, prompting management to seek a court ruling to force miners back to work, Zambia's state media reported Monday.
Although workers agreed to a 15% pay increment in 2012, management has proposed two-year term, while unions want the agreement to last for 12 months, the Daily Mail Newspaper quoted union officials as saying.
"The decision taken by management at Kansanshi...to seek court's guidance in resolving the 2012 negotiations standoff will worsen the situation at the mines," Miners Union of Zambia President Charles Mukuka said in the report. "The union feels the best option is for management and the unions to seek further immediate interventions or mediation from the government."
Kansanshi miners have been on strike since last week, paralyzing output at the mine.
Kansanshi is a unit of Toronto-listed First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.T). company officials couldn't immediately be reached.