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Mine workers demand US$600 living wage

THE Zimbabwe Diamond Allied and Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) has demanded wage reviews between US$400 and US$600 for mine workers and expressed concern over the delay by employers to pay salary arrears at a time when second quarter wage negotiations should have been concluded.

ZDAMWU secretary-general Justice Chinhema said the second quarter wage negotiations were underway at a time when most mines had failed to pay first quarter salary arrears.

“The reason for this travesty of justice on mine workers is because the first negotiations were concluded late in March when the payroll had already been processed. It is disturbing to note that some mines are already applying for exemptions not to backdate the salaries,” Chinhema said.

He said some mine workers’ unions were also shortchanging the workers in their negotiations on wage increases at the National Employment Council.

“It is a known fact that workers are expecting a second quarter increase effective on April 1, but hope is fast fading for mine workers, considering that April is coming to an end and there has been no sitting. Chances of workers receiving their back pays are fast fading.

“Our resolution as ZDAMWU is that as long as the mining sector is still paying these slave wages, workers will not rest. As mine worker representatives we are not going to tire in pushing for a living wage in the range of US$400 to US$600.

“In addition, mine workers are also so disappointed by the failure to consider the COVID-19 allowances where the sector was the only industry that remained on the ground and sustained other sectors during the lockdowns,” he said. Chinhema said his union was encouraging workers’ committees to bargain at works council level as waiting for the NEC was not helping. Newsday

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