Mine workers want another salary increment as their recent salary hike has since been eroded by runaway inflation and the rising cost of living.
In May this year, the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ), the National Employment Council (NEC) of the mining industry and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe agreed on a 108.5% salary increase for the mine workers.
The 108,5% increment saw the lowest paid employee in the sector earning $93 074 per month from $44 640 a month, while the highest would get $215 872 from $103 536.
In a letter addressed to the president of AMWUZ on Tuesday last week, Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mine Workers Union (ZIDAMWU) general-secretary Justice Chinhema said there is an urgent need for a cost of living adjustment across the board pegged in foreign currency. Wrote Chinhema:
I write again to you at a critical time for our members in the industry. Today, the obtaining economic situation in the country characterised by high inflation, shortage of some basic commodities, skyrocketing parallel market exchange rates, including the interbank exchange rates, rising prices of basic commodities and services, among others, has left mine industry workers and the general people of Zimbabwe enduring the unbearable crisis and living in poverty while working.
It is sad to note that the mining industry as the backbone of the country’s economy, as clearly positioned by the government of Zimbabwe through National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 and 2 and 2023’s US$12 billion target, mine workers’ living standards are a far cry as expected of them.
Mining districts in Zimbabwe have no big supermarkets that sell basic goods in local currency for workers to purchase using their current earnings.
… In light of the above, we are kindly requesting you to call for an urgent NEC meeting to consider a cost of living adjustment across the board pegged in foreign currency.
It’s high time that we make the employer accountable for the living standards of their workers.
Workers are aware of profits margins that are made and production levels together with the value of minerals being mined in Zimbabwe.
Mine workers also want the introduction of housing and transport allowances for those who are not provided with accommodation at mining compounds.