Mineworkers have demanded their pay base to be pegged at US$600 inclusive of their Covid 19 allowances.
In a statement Zimbabwe Diamond Allied and Mineral Workers Union Secretary-general Justice Chinhema said as they are approaching the last quarter of the year Mine workers now believe Chamber of Mines frustrating them.
“The Chamber of Mines is not only demotivating the mine worker but also its operations are quite frustrating. What we are demanding as mine workers from the Chamber of Mines is not much. We are demanding a living wage, we are demanding salary adjustments. What we are addressing here is a legitimate concern,” he said.
“In our industry, It is common knowledge that mine industry wages are increased quarterly. We are fast approaching the 4th quarter with nothing in place pointing to a wage increase.”
He said the last salary review which was done during the 2nd quarter has been eroded by inflationary pressure.
“The ZWL$24 500 which the least paid employee in the mining industry is getting is not only enough but also now an insult considering that the food basket is now pegged at ZWL$ 45 000 and this only benefit workers in towns. As far as we are concerned in the mining districts the food basket is around ZWL$ 65 000 or USD$600,” he said.
“The mine workers salaries and wages have remained stagnant despite the inflationary environment. This also notwithstanding the fact that the mining sector is a vital cog of our economy. As mine workers we are demanding a minimum of at least USD $500 and a covid-19 allowance of USD$100 to make it USD600 paid hundred percent in United States Dollars.”
He said as mine workers they are getting impatient, they are getting frustrated by the Chamber of Mines which has chosen not to recognise workers’ need of a living wage.
“Mine industry workers might resort to go slow as a sign of their frustration caused by the employer for failing to adjust salaries in line with the traditional practice of quarterly wage negotiations. The works council bargaining is also being affected without the National Employment Council gazetted minimum wage which is always the basis of bargaining actual,” he said.
“At the moment, works council are used by the employers to push their nefarious agendas. Currently mine workers are failing to bring issues of salaries and wages on the table as employers argue that they are waiting for NEC outcome. The obtaining situation in the mines is not healthy, the situation has reached a boiling point. Mineworkers have been pushed to the limits and are currently suggesting to down tools or go on a go slow as a way of pushing NEC or individual mines to increase salaries in line with the current economic situation.”
He said as a union we are giving NEC up to next week to come up with something within the range of the above stated.
“Or we will be mobilizing for a go slow across the industry or a full job action in terms of the labour act. We have been patient for too long and this is not working. Worse. Any late wage increase also affect the employer. Why must there be backpays always? The 1st and 2nd quarter back pays have not been paid by other mines. So who is benefiting from this delay? We are also urging our comrades from Amwuz to work up from their slumber and start producing results. They have claimed ownership of NEC as their private company and they must account for their monopoly,” he said.
“ZDAMWU is now in charge of the industry and workers believe Zdamwu is the future in wage bargaining.” Bulawayo24