A Chinese mining company has reportedly dismissed all its underground workers without notice.
This has prompted the trade union which represents the workers, the National Union of Mines Quarrying, Iron and Steel Workers of Zimbabwe (NUMQISWZ), to threaten to take legal action against the company if the workers are not reinstated.
The company, Fools Investment Mine in Hope Fountain near Bulawayo, fired more than 30 employees, according to NUMQISWZ regional officer Abraham Kavalanjila. He said:
Fools Mine unfairly dismissed all underground workers and we have since written to them.
The verbal response from management was that they maintain their stance.
Very soon we will be taking them to court on unfair labour practices by the employer.
Kavalanjila implored the government to put the company under judicial management, saying the mine has potential if managed well.
Kavalanjila said the outstanding salaries for the fired workers could be around US$300 000.
The company is also accused of underpaying employees and failing to provide protective clothing.
The mine last month was slapped with a $40 000 fine for allowing a foreigner, Zhang Zhongyi, to work as a metallurgist at the mine without a valid permit.
Zhongyi’s illegal stay in the country was exposed after he assaulted two workers who had asked for their outstanding salaries.