UNIONS representing mine workers have shot down pay rates agreed at the National Employment Council (NEC) by the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ).
A circular to mines dated November 22 by the National Employment Council of Zimbabwe states that the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and the AMWUZ read: “Companies shall pay the new minimum wages in both US$ and RTGS portions. The new minimum wages at the signing of this agreement shall be maintained in their fixed nominal values until the next wage review”.
“Non-foreign currency generating companies are excluded from the requirement to pay in dual currency and shall pay the new monthly Zimdollar minimum wages as provided for above.”
However, Solidarity Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Prince Mpala, said the pay rates were improperly bargained because they were disadvantageous to the mining employees.
“The way in which these rates were bargained is not in line with what the employees in the mining industry are supposed to get. The bargaining was also supposed to consider the period when the metals were low and how much the mine workers were earning,” Mpala said.
“For example, from 2018 the minimum wage was US$318 and the gold price then was 1 gram to US$25. Now the gold price is 1 gram to US$55. This means that the salaries should have doubled as well.”
AMWUZ secretary-general Gedion Chirwa said there are parameters which are set before the negotiations.
“We have actually increased the salaries for employees by 31 percent. We usually do not go for the agreement before consulting our members who are the employees in the mining industry. Our negotiations are based on parameters such as inflation. ,” Chirwa said.
“The lowest grade was earning $166 000 but we have negotiated with the employer to increase the wage to $217 299,84. It is unfortunate these claims are not coming from the employees but some rival unions.”
National Employment Council secretary-general Sylvester Kabote was in support of Chirwa.