The Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (ZDAMWU) is pushing for a 270% salary increase that would see the least paid worker pocketing at least $65 000 per month (US$765 official rate, about US$464 parallel market rate).
They are currently earning $24 000.
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In a statement, ZDAMWU secretary-general Justice Chinhema accused the Chamber of Mines of frustrating employees. Chinhema said:
The Chamber of Mines is not only de-motivating the mine worker, but also its operations are quite frustrating. What we are demanding as mineworkers from the Chamber of Mines is not much. We are demanding a living wage. We are demanding salary adjustments. What we are addressing here is a legitimate concern.
The amount $24 500 of the least paid employee in the mining industry is not only enough, but also now an insult considering that the food basket is now pegged at $45 000 and this only benefits workers in towns.
As far as we are concerned in the mining districts, the food basket is around$ 65 000 or US$600. The mine workers salaries and wages have remained stagnant despite the inflationary environment. This is also notwithstanding the fact that the mining sector is a vital cog of our economy. As mine workers, we are demanding a minimum of at least US$500 and a COVID-19 allowance of US$100 to make it US$600 paid 100% in United States Dollars.
Chinhema said the workers might resort to going slow as a sign of their frustration caused by the employer for failing to adjust salaries in line with the traditional practice of quarterly wage negotiations.
The workers gave the National Employment Council (NEC) up to next week to come up with something within the range of the above stated, or “we will be mobilising for a go-slow across the industry or a full job action in terms of the Labour Act.”