Mineworkers in Zimbabwe have made fresh demands to have their wages increased as the country’s economic situation continues to falter. According to the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union, the recommended monthly salary for every mine worker in the country should a minimum of 600 US dollars. This, Justice Chinema, who is the Secretary-General of the ZDAMWU says is a token compared to what mine owners pay themselves.
He said “Despite us as mine workers being the major foreign currency earners, we are still battling to get a living wage and we are still crying for decent wages. We have said a mine worker must get at least US$600 which is not much to ask considering how our employers are raking in massive profits at the expense of our toiling.”
“Mineworkers’ welfare is still a myth. Most mine workers are occupying sub-standard or dilapidated houses which pose a danger to the workers. The situation is worse for those who would have been retrenched or retired,” he added.
The calls for the increased minimum wage are coming at a time when former workers at Shabanie Mashaba Mine Holdings are facing extreme pressure from being owed gratuities since the company shut down in 2004. The company is evicting its former workers and families of the ex-employees who are staying in company houses while they wait for their dues.
The mining industry in Zimbabwe provides 12% of the country’s total GDP and employs between 500,000 and 1.6 million small scale and artisanal miners, 11,000 of which are members of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union.
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