THE National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NMWUZ) has shot down a 5% salary increase awarded to its members under this year’s collective bargaining process, describing the increment as a pittance.
The National Employment Council salary deal was endorsed by the NMWUZ’s rival union the Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ) and the Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe (COMZ) on April 25.
Under the new salary deal, the lowest paid workers will now get $238,41, up from $227,06, while the highest gets $552,96 from the previous salary scale of $526,63.
“This is totally an insult and it reflects that those who were involved (AMWUZ) did not consult adequately with the workers in the mining industry. What is 5% of $227 nothing to say the least?” NMWUZ said in a statement.
NMWUZ president Tinashe Mugwira said his union wanted to have the lowest paid worker getting at least $400 per month, a few dollars slightly above the minimum wage pegged by government which stands at $375.
“The government which is non-productive has pegged its minimum wage at $375, yet workers at the nerve centre of the economy, those who have traceable records of production are left to hang in the arms of poverty earning a paltry $238 a month,” Mugwira said.
Part of the NEC agreement letter served to all unions and employers read: “This notice serves that the following rates for grades 1 -13 were agreed upon by AMWUZ and COMZ and will be subsequently sent to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for registration and publication.”
Most mines, especially those in gold production and ferro-chrome mining, have closed shop over the past few months due to depressed metal prices on the world market.