Hwange protest: Mine workers union defends employer

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THE Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe has backed the employer in the ongoing salary impasse between spouses of Hwange Colliery Company (HCC) workers’ spouses and company management.

Union president Edmund Ruzive recently wrote to the company managing director dissociating his organisation from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) which had sought a joinder in the court case in which HCC is seeking an order barring the striking women from the company premises.

“We can confirm that we are the most representative union at Hwange Colliery Company as well as nationwide. We are not an affiliate of ZCTU,” Ruzive wrote in a letter dated 16 February 2018.

The ZCTU was cited in the case HC 1179/18 as the 6th responded.

Ruzive’s letter was used as an annexure to Hwange’s answering affidavit signed by its Company Secretary, Allen Masiya, in which he argued that the ZCTU had no basis to be part of the suit.

Masiya, basing on the letter by Ruzive, argued that the AMWUZ was not affiliated to the ZCTU.

“It is therefore clear that 6th respondent has no business making representations in the present matter.

“The representations should be disregarded by this court. 6th respondent does not represent a single party involved in this matter,” wrote Masiya in the affidavit.

However, despite all this, a delegation from the ZCTU, which is the country’s biggest representative labour body, and a delegation from the Ministry of Labour led by Minister Petronella Kagonye, will be in Hwange this Wednesday, March 7, to try and address the dispute, which has seen the women demonstrating since January 27.

The women are demanding that the company pay their husbands outstanding salaries dating back to five years ago.

The spouses claimed that they had resorted to protest on behalf of their working husbands who would be victimised if they downed tools to demonstrate.