By Midlands Correspondent.
National Mines Workers Union Of Zimbabwe has rejected the 46 percent awarded by the chamber of mines and the Associated Mine workers Union of Zimbabwe (Amuz).
Reason for rejection is based on the current market scale for the yellow metal and their arguments are of the risks associated with the mining industry.
“our minerals are sold in foreign currency, working conditions in the Mines, diseases due to inhalation of dust and dangerous gasses and low life expectancy caused by work related deaths either through sickness or unforeseen accidents, is the reason we have rejected the offer,” said Kurebwa Javangwe Nomboka, the National Mines Workers Union president.
Of late, the mining industry recorded some growth and increase in out put on gold, with the minister of mine and mining development Winston Chitando claiming the national target for a US$4 billion gold industry by 2023 is achievable and the target likely to be surpassed but the welfare of workers still falling short of the required standards.
inlight of the above mentioned observations that the current rates of salary fall far short of addressing the worker’s needs in so far as remuneration and allowances is concerned. With special reference to the recent outcome first quarter wages covering the period January 1 to March 31 2022 which awarded the 46% the percentage insignificantly addressed the usd portion which only rose by 6usd for the minimum against the background that we want holistic wage to be USD and above Poverty datum line, Added Javangwe.
Miners workers unions are pushing for an upward review of above USD $623 which is provided for and highlighted by the consumer council of Zimbabwe latest statistical analysis reports.
However there has been politicking and finger point amongst unions and chambers as employees expressed their disappointment on the 46 Percent and as to why Amuz is the only Union sitting in the negotiating table?
“Why employers are not interested in inviting other unions on board? further to that there is need to review our allowances which have not been reviewed for a very long time and are no longer realistic” said Javangwe.
Given volatile economic environment in Zimbabwe the mining sector is the only hope for resuscitation and poor remuneration will lead to poor production and low moral which may affect gold output.
Javangwe told this publication that as a union, their collective bargaining Agreement is outdated SI 165 of 1992 considering developments that took place in the labour laws especially amendments to the labour act and this calls for a complete overhaul of the statute inorder to allign it with the current trends.
“There is need for job evaluation considering the technological changes taking place in the sector most of our people are being under graded they must seat on the correct positions the current setup favors employers in the expense of the employees for example we no longer using Jake humor but that Jake humor position is the current position being used to grade an employee using a more mechanised equipment to pay our employees in most mines.
we must also have a lucrative social security scheme which should be in position to award miner’s lucratively in the event of death or termination of employment contract in which ever way and home ownership schemes must be introduced to the miner’s with better conditions, among other none monetary benefits,”he said.
The Zimbabwe small scale miners still face operational challenges and on various platforms it has been highlighted as lack of political will to help the hand that is making the country get forex revenue.
The mining industry looks forward to the alignment of laws and regularization of the ‘illegal miners’ as well as timous processing of mining claims applications and certification.