Zanu PF miner in labour storm

Progress Mine is not paying any allowances to its employees since their engagement with the employer

WORKERS at Progress Mine, owned by Zanu PF Insiza North legislator Farai Taruvinga, have reported their employer to the National Employment Council (Nec) for the Mining Industry over unfair labour practices and failure to pay salaries for 13 months.

The mine is in Filabusi.

Professionals and General Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe president Abraham Kavalanjila yesterday told Southern Eye that Nec had set February 13 as the hearing date for both parties, but the company’s top management did not show up.

“The workers continue to go to work even without being paid. The trick is that the company uses its car to transport the workers and deduct transport money from their pay. Workers are forced to board the company vehicle yet they have not been paid salaries,” Kavalanjila said.

“They asked for a postponement on February 13 and we agreed for the following day, but they did not come for reasons best known to themselves. The courts assist those that need to be assisted. In this regard Progress Mine does not need any assistance because they think that they are above the law.”

The union claimed that the mine had violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement Mining Industry clauses 19, 20, 23 and 30  as read with the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01] section 2 A. and 12 A.

“Progress Mine has threatened the existence of the workers committee by dismissing the representatives of the workers. It has not paid its workers from October 2021 to December 2022. The mine must provide personal protective clothing to its workers within five days of the date of receiving this complaint,” the union submitted.

“Progress Mine is not paying any allowances to its employees since their engagement with the employer. It should provide free transport to its employees to and from work. Subject to the collective bargaining agreement, wages shall be paid at regular intervals on working days, at or near the workplace. Progress Mine is also in violation of SI 182 of 1995 clause 32 of the Mining Health and Sanitation Regulations. The mine blocked the trade union from meeting management.”

The union now wants the mine to pay workers the outstanding 13 months wages plus 5% interest.

It demanded that the mine should facilitate the election of a workers committee with the assistance of the trade union, Nec or the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry.

The mine, which employs over 600 workers, is yet to respond to the union’s demands.

The workers reportedly earn between US$200 and US$400 per month.

Taruvinga, who was elected MP for the constituency on July 30, 2018 and is a popular miner in Filabusi, was unreachable for comment.

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