CHINESE miners at the Zimbabwe Zhong Xin Cock Energy (ZZCE) and Zhong Jian companies have been accused of assaulting their employees for demanding more pay and personal protective equipment (PPEs).
This was revealed by the Solidarity Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe secretary Prince Mpala yesterday.
“I have been trying to convince them (workers) to speak out in a WhatsApp group that was created, but they are refusing to give me all the details because they fear the Chinese owners. When I consulted one of them, l was told that they were beaten up for requesting PPEs (personal protective equipment) as their working gear is now very old,” Mpala said.
He said workers’ rights violations were prevalent at the Chinese mines.
“The employees are being ill-treated if they question their bosses. At ZZCE the employer assaulted a worker because he had complained of being underpaid.
“We are yet to write to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Mines ministry because when I last approached them concerning these claims they told me to put it in writing. By Friday (today) I should send the papers to the offices,” Mpala said.
He said he would investigate mines in Bulawayo to see if there were any forms of abuse of workers.
“The other problem is that there is a language barrier between workers and their Chinese employers. These people fail to understand each other. Chinese company owners are of the view that their employees must learn the Chinese language, which is not fair at all because they are the ones who are coming to this country.
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“Therefore they are the ones who should make an effort to learn our native languages,” Mpala said.
Zhong Jian human resources manager Sibongile Mhindu said she was not aware of the alleged abuses, but would investigate.
“I am not aware of that but l will try to go around and find out if there is anything like that going on,” Mhindu said.