THE Solidarity Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe has accused Dinson Colliery Company, a Chinese-owned mine in Hwange of flouting mining regulations after its workers alleged that they were being abused and denied the right to interact with union representatives.
Dinson Colliery is alleged to have denied the trade union leaders access to the employees to discuss their problems.
Solidarity Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Prince Mpala told Southern Eye that they were denied entry to the mine.
“We have been seeking a meeting with the Dinson employees to hear their concerns and assist them to form a workers’ committee that would hear their concerns.
“This is in accordance with the country’s company laws. However, Dinson Colliery Company has refused to give us access to enter their premises citing COVID-19 protocols, which is a lie as these regulations have been reviewed,” Mpala said.
“We have tried to communicate with the director of the company as well as the public relations manager but there seems to be an emerging communication barrier.
“We don’t know which criteria they are using to govern their company because they are not following the laws,” he said.
Mpala added: “They work overnight shifts for which they don’t get paid anything, and they are given cabbage and sadza everyday.
“They are also not allowed to leave the premises once they get in.”
He alleged that some workers walk more than 10km to work daily.
“We have tried to take the matter to the Labour ministry’s regional office in Hwange but they directed us to Bulawayo.
“This issue has to be dealt with so that we create a better working environment for the workers”.
Dinson Colliery Company spokesperson Brighton Mupariwa declined to comment on the issue.
“I am sorry, I cannot comment on this. Actually I’m not allowed to talk to the media.
“The best person to comment on the issue is the company director Benson Xu. Unfortunately, he is in China now, and so you will have to wait for him to come back,” Mupariwa said.
Dinson Colliery Company was founded in 1992 and has been operating in Zimbabwe for 10 years.
It has branches in Mashonaland West, Hwange and Midlands.
The company is into coal mining.
Several Chinese companies in Hwange and other areas in the country have been accused of abusing employees. (Newsday)