Union demands US$600 salary for mine workers

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By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent

REPRESENTATIVES of mine workers in the country have launched a fresh bid to have their hard currency salaries increased as the economic situation in the country continues to deteriorate.

The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) is demanding at least US$600 per month for every mine worker in the country, accusing mine owners of exploiting employees.

ZDAMWU Secretary General, Justice Chinhema lamented the poor living conditions of mine workers despite mining being one of the leading industries which brings foreign currency in the country.

“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,” Chinhema said.

“Mine workers 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,” Chinhema added.

These concerns come at a time when Shabanie Mashaba Mine (SMM) Holdings have been living hell of a life as they are owed millions of dollars in unpaid wages.

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.

However, the company has remained adamant and is continuing with evictions as the government looks on despite a pledge by Mines Minister Winston Chitando at Maglas Stadium in 2018 that none of the ex-employees will be evicted.