RIOZIM Limited (RioZim) management has yielded to mounting pressure from employees at its Masvingo gold producer Renco Mine (Renco) for better working conditions, NewsDay has learnt.
Management, led by group managing director Ashton Ndlovu, last week met workers’ representatives, workers’ spouses and community representatives to hear their grievances with the view to come up with a lasting solution to the longstanding labour dispute.
Renco Mine manager Cyprian Kachisa confirmed that Ndlovu met representatives of the mine’s 2 000-plus workforce and community representatives last Thursday to negotiate for a solution to the on-going wrangle.
Newly-appointed workers’ committee chairperson Vincent Matiza said Ndlovu promised to come back on April 4 with proposed solutions to their concerns.
Speaking on behalf of the workers, Matiza said the primary grievance was that of outstanding 50% bonuses for 2012.
He said workers, together with the community, threatened to go back on strike and seal off the gold plant’s gates to stop transportation of gold from the mine if their demands were not met by April 4
“The whole workforce and the community just want tangible reforms, otherwise they will go back to strike,” Matiza said.
“There has been no change so far, but people are just giving management a chance to prove they care about the company and the mine.”
Sources said the women from the community revealed they had been backed by management to strike and block gold transportation.
Sources said the women named some of the mine’s senior management who were behind the plot including the mine manager Kachisa, who is said to have then tendered his resignation.
The management is said to be bitter with the company’s decision to withdraw vehicle and schools fee benefits.
Asked to comment, Kachisa said: “I did not tender my resignation, it’s just that I am retiring at the end of this year when my contact expires.
Previously, Masvingo South Legislator Walter Mzembi was accused of mobilising the community to rebel against Renco as a ploy to take over the mine.
A High Court ruling, which Mzembi is currently contesting in the Supreme Court, ordered Mzembi and his colleagues — Chivi South MP Irvin Dzingirai and Mzembi’s special assistant Obediah Mazombwe — off the mine’s premises.
Dzingirai was appointed by the community to help in negotiations with management given his employment history at Renco at a senior level.