Karoi mine workers down tools over 13-month salary arrears

KAROI — Over 200 workers at the Zimbabwe German Graphite Mine, trading as Lynx Mine, downed their tools on Friday demonstrating against non-payment of their salaries for the past 13 months.

By Nhau Mangirazi

The mine is jointly owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Graphit Kropfmhul Gmbh of Germany.

The disgruntled workers, who have vowed to continue with the industrial action, at the weekend blocked six trucks from collecting graphite from the mine demanding their dues and an improvement in their working
conditions.

“We have gone for 13 months without salaries. We are living in darkness as there is no electricity at the mine compound after it was switched off due to a debt running into several hundreds of thousands owed to Zesa,” a workers’ committee member, who declined to be named, said.

He said they were now drinking untreated water from the mine dam as a result of the power cut.

“Some suppliers have come and grabbed properties as the mine is failing to pay off debts. Surprisingly, 14 containers of graphite were loaded in December, but there are no salaries for us,” the worker claimed.

“The money is being used to pay officials managing the mine affairs at the expense of the suffering worker on the ground. We do not know what they are using the proceeds for as they claim the company is in the red.”

A senior official confirmed that all was not well at the mine, as graphite prices had slumped on the world market.

“We used to get at least $600 per tonne, but now it is $340 per tonne due to declining world market prices,” said the unnamed official, who said he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Zimbabwe Diamond Workers’ Union secretary-general Justice Chinhema confirmed the work stoppage and urged management to urgently resolve the workers’ grievances.

“We hope management will address issues raised by workers that include non-payment of salaries and better working conditions affecting several families,” he said.

Chinhema disclosed that they had, on several occasions, raised with ZMDC the mine workers’ grievances with the successive Mines ministers, but without success.

Efforts to contact ZMDC headquarters in Harare for comment were fruitless as their landlines went unanswered.

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4 Comments

  1. Hwange Colliery company now 8 years without salary. You are talking of 13 months kkkkkkk lets hope the new Government will reengage big Companies like Anglo American to run the closed Mines again.indegenisation Policy remains a stumbling block. 51/49 policy is a joke unless both parties have 50/50 injection of capital in the business not the other way round.

  2. All these companies do have enough to pay their workers but won’t pay because slavery is legal in Zimbabwe as long as you pay Zanu first everything falls in place. If they had no money, the executives will leave, will not afford to change cars every 5yrs, will not afford to hire new senior staff, will not afford to send their children abroad and elite schools. Zanu cares about bottom smellers,so are these companies senior employees, they are proud to be the only ones who shop at will and drive new cars. That’s why zanu senior appointees will ask you to pray for them, but you cannot ask them to provide you with jobs,pray and be our slaves forever.

  3. City of Harare employees have gone for many months without salaries while the bosses are buying top of the range cars like under wear. The h20 is dirty, the employees are malnourished and do not have stands and houses. THE ARMY WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, SHOULD TAKE OVER THE RUNNING OF CITY OF HARARE BECOZ THE CURRENT BOSSES ARE CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT.
    THE SOCCER TEAM, HARARE CITY, IS GOBBLING MILLIONS WHILE WE DONT HAVE VEHICLES FOR COLLECTING BINS, ETC.

  4. AK47 UMBHOBHO OMKHULU

    WORKERS SHOULD ACT IN TERMS OF LAW,MIND YOU THE TRADE UNION SHOULD ADVISE ITS MEMBERS ARCORDINGLY,TTHE PAY ISSUE IS A DISPUTE OF RIGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE MATTER TO THE NEC MINING NOT THAT STRIKE,PLIZ PROTECT THESE WORKERS TEACH THEM THE TRUTH DONT LIE TO THEM. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED IN TURK MINE SOME WEEKS AG AND THE LABOUR COURT TOOK ITS DICISION IN TERMS OF THE LABOUR ACT.

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