MINE workers have been awarded a 5% salary increment backdated to January 1 following protracted negotiations with mining companies, Southern Eye Business has learnt.
Last December, negotiations between the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) were reached after the union demanded a minimum salary pegged above the poverty datum line estimated at $505.
However, the deadlock was broken on April 25 with an agreement that the lowest paid mine worker would get an extra $11,35 a month.
According to a circular to mines by the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry date April 28, the lowest paid mine worker would earn $238 per month from $227. The highest will get $553 from $527.
Amwuz was proposing a minimum wage for the period between January and December of $573 for gold and other minerals while diamond miners were demanding a minimum of $800.
The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe was proposing a 3,5% increment.
But the new salary scale has failed to appease the National Mine Workers of Zimbabwe (NMWZ), which accuses Amwuz of collaborating with employers to enslave mine workers.
“We want to put it on records that NMWZ was not part of these negotiations and we condemn them.
“Our constituency was not represented and the president of Amwuz, Tinago Ruzive does not represent any mine worker,” an official from the union said.
“How can he represent miners yet he owns some mines?
“This is not proper and we call upon the authorities concerned to come and intervene. 5% increment is nothing and workers cannot be held to ransom because of other people who want to pursue their interests.
“He is failing even to negotiate for better working conditions for miners, so how can he represent workers?
“We are calling for the probe into this case because there are some employees who are getting hefty salaries at the expense of workers who are doing the hard work”
Ruzive could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mining has since overtaken agriculture as the mainstay of the economy with experts saying more investment in the sector could stimulate economic growth.