HomeBusinessVumbachikwe fires 51 striking employees

Vumbachikwe fires 51 striking employees

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VUMBACHIKWE Gold Mine has fired more than 50 employees, accusing them of embarking on an illegal job action last year, NewsDay has established.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Workers at Vumbachikwe, one of the country’s oldest gold mines, embarked on a strike in November last year demanding their outstanding salaries, as well as pension contributions, which the gold producer had failed to remit despite deducting money from workers.

The mine, located 16km out of Gwanda town, is owned by Duration Gold, a Zimbabwe-focused private gold miner and explorer, owned by Britain-based, Clarity Capital.

According to the mine’s management, about 51 workers have been dismissed following the strike.

However, the National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe put the number at 200.

“The management is victimising all workers who embarked on a strike last month including the workers’ union. To date, we understand they have fired about 200 employees and they have taken the union and other people to court accusing them of inciting workers to strike,” NMWUZ area organiser, Howard Sibelo said.

“The company fired workers without following proper procedures and we are saying no to that. They are victimising everyone who dare stands for the cause of the workers. They are behaving like mercenaries.”

Sibelo said the company had also issued fired workers with eviction orders from its houses. He said Vumbachikwe was paying workers as little as $10.

However, Duration Gold country co-ordinating project manager, Ollie Iversen dismissed those claims.

“Not true at all. The strike was illegal. To date, 51 workers have been dismissed,” he said.

Iversen said in dismissing the employees, the company had followed all disciplinary processes and procedures.
Vumbachikwe has been in operation since 1904.

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