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Filabusi miner in labour storm

FORMER workers at Maccoomber F Empire Mine in Filabusi have reported their employer Polani Mathemari to the National Employment Council (Nec), accusing him of refusing to pay their dues.

The former workers also accuse Mathemari of overworking and physically abusing them.

The three former workers, Calisto Mumhuweyi, Macdonald James and Watson Korera are being represented by Dumisani Ndlovu of Ferro Alloy and Mining Workers Union of Zimbabwe.

In the papers to Nec, they cited Maccoonber F Empire Mine, Mathemari and mine director Uenice Murefu as respondents.

They submitted that they were contract workers at the mine and were all members of Ferro Alloy and Mining Workers Union of Zimbabwe.

In addition, they submitted that they were dismissed unprocedurally, adding that there was no workers’ committee at the mine which employs more than 60 workers.

Other submissions were that the mine was not registered with the Nec and National Social Security Authority, hence it was violating the law.

“There is unfair termination of employment, underpayment, non-payment of gratuity, leave days, overtime and unfair labour practices,” the workers submitted to Nec on September 13.

Indications were that workers were being forced to work a 12-hour shift, but were paid for eight hours. Other workers claimed they were beaten up by their bosses at the plant over petty issues, adding that some workers were fired without notice in violation of labour laws.

In the claims, Kokera is demanding US$23 575 49, Munhuweyi US$9 312 94 and James US$8 459 56.

“The claim is for underpayment, gratuity, and leave days and overtime. Respondent failed or neglected to pay.

“Respondent has dismissed the claimants without following disciplinary code Statutory Instrument 165 of 1992.

“Respondents have no right to dismiss workers without documentation.

“Salaries and allowances are all statutory and are disputes of rights; underpayment is a breach on its own.

“The respondent is obliged by law to follow mining industry rules and regulations when dealing with labour matters,” they submitted.

The claimants submitted that the respondents should be found guilty, and be ordered to reinstate claimants without loss of pay and benefits and pay all outstanding monies within seven days.

In a notice to the parties, Nec has since advised that the matter will be heard on November 15.

Mathemari and Murefu are yet to file their responses to the claim. Newsday

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