BY TINASHE MUNGAZI
THE Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ) has raised concern over the growing labour violations, which include beating up of employees and long working hours without compensation being perpetrated by Chinese investors.
Workers have often complained of abuse at the hands of their Chinese employers, whom they accuse of flagrantly flouting the country’s labour laws.
Speaking during the 47th anniversary of Kamandama Mine disaster which claimed 427 lives on June 6, 1972, AMWUZ president Edward Ruzive bemoaned the plight of workers at the hands of Chinese investors and urged government to act against such violations.
“Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe fully embraces the vision 2030 that of a middle-income society come 2030. However, the calibre of investors we have, particularly the Chinese investors, who when you engage to discuss issues they pretend they do not understand English, they do not give workers pay slips. They make workers work long hours without [compensation] and, at times, they beat up workers,” he said.
He called on government to also act in ensuring workers accessed personal protective equipment (PPE) while urging authorities to enforce labour laws.
“They don’t provide the necessary PPE for workers. We are also appealing to government to exhort all investors to follow the rules and regulations of this country in whatever sector they invest in,” Ruzive said.
He called for the review of mine workers’ salaries in line with the poverty datum line (PDL) and said employers should pay in United States dollars.
“The issue of a living wage for the mining industry is now a buzzword. All workers are clamouring for a salary that must be paid in US dollars. The PDL currently stands at US$700 for a family of five. The rise in fuel, which has always been a cost driver, saw the prices of goods and services going northwards,” the mine workers boss said.
He saluted the 427 miners who died following a methane gas explosion that ripped through Kamandama Mine shaft.
The union also donated $1 000 towards the Kamandama Memorial Fund, a fund that was put in place to assist in looking after the deceased miners’ surviving widows and their dependents.
A fundraising golf tournament held on the eve of the commemorations raised $30 000.