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LocalNews

Mining companies urged to pay workers

ZIMBABWE Mining Workers (ZMW) president Kurebwa Javangwe Nomboka has urged mining companies to pay their workers COVID-19 allowances as the sector is regarded an essential service.

Nomboka urged the mine workers’ National Employment Council (NEC) to push for the allowances as mine workers were at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Last year, the government exempted the mining industry from COVID-19 lockdowns.

“There is need for the NEC to consider the payment of allowances to cushion the employees and to consider the risky conditions they work under. There is need for the introduction of COVID-19 allowances because the mining industry is regarded as an essential service,” Nomboka said.

He bemoaned lack of safety, health and environmental regulations in most mining companies, especially those owned by the Chinese.

“Chinese mining companies don’t follow safety, environmental standards, regulations or rules. Most employees are not properly graded, they pay employees way below NEC minimum wages, and their employees work long hours. There is no overtime, no holiday, and they treat every day as a working day,” Nomboka said.

He also alleged that most Chinese mining companies do not remit money to the National Social Security Authority (Nssa), the Mining Industry Pension Fund (MIPF), and to mine unions.

The ZMW president said most workers in the mining sector were job-insecure due to lack of fixed contracts at most mines.

“There are arbitrary dismissals and workers work excessive hours without being paid overtime allowances, while most mine workers earn below the poverty datum line, and have no rights to form unions,” he said. (Newsday)

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