By Mary Taruvinga
ZIMBABWE Diamond Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) has demanded room to monitor how mines are operating and protecting the health of employees in the wake of COVID-19.
The government has allowed mines to continue running during the national lockdown, which has seen the closure of most industries deemed non-essential services.
However, the call by the ZDAMWU comes amid allegations that some employers in the mining industry are abusing employees and disregarding lockdown regulations put in place by the government thereby putting the lives of workers at risk.
The union argued that it is constitutionally bound to make sure that the mine employees are safe and operating in a favourable environment.
“We are disturbed by widespread reports that some employers are victimising workers by sending them home on unpaid leave in violation of the provisions of the Labour Act, a development which will antagonise industrial relations and subsequently lead to disruptions in productivity on the mines,” the union said in a statement.
“Employers are forthwith warned and should stop all attempts to victimise workers and instead direct their energy to source materials in the form of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by their workers during this turbulent period faced by our nation.”
ZDAMWU feels it is duty-bound to enforce the safety, health and welfare of mine employees at all affiliated mines.
It said it was ready to assign its labour and safety to all mines across the country to ensure that they were operating according to set standards and workers’ health and labour rights were guaranteed.