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Mining workers get US$3,55 salary increment

THE National Employment Council (Nec) for the mining industry has approved a US$3,55 salary increment for mining workers for the July to December period despite the high cost of living.

In a recent circular issued by Nec, the lowest mine worker’s salary was raised by US$14,20 for the April to June period, from US$355 prior, taking the new minimum wage to US$369,20.

From the US$369,20, however, Nec added US$3,55 to the minimum wage, taking it to US$372,75 for the July to December period.

These increases are happening despite the rise in US dollar pricing and a higher exchange rate used to price goods and services in Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) compared to the formal one.

In a statement last Friday, Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mineral Workers Union (ZDAMWU) secretary-general Justice Chinhema said the entire mining industry was disappointed and dejected following the US$14 salary increase backdated to April.

“This was least expected by the mine workers, who have evidence that the mining sector is the biggest foreign currency earner in the country. Mine workers expected to receive good news from the Nec since they last had a salary increase in March 2023 stretching for the whole year,” Chinhema said.

“Workers expected to receive news of a living wage in tandem with the current reduced purchasing power of their current minimum salaries. What has been released and circulated by the Nec is pathetic and an assault to the hardworking mine workers in Zimbabwe.”

Chinhema said they rejected the circular because they believed it was nothing compared to the current prevailing production situation obtaining in the sector and the country at large.

He said with this wage, mine workers would not be able to put food on the table for their families and to also send their children to school in a country that is facing a serious drought.

“We are shocked that the agreement was made without taking into consideration the economic situation prevailing in the country,” Chinhema said.

“It has also been done after the process of admission of ZDAMWU into the Nec collective bargaining platform is still underway. We wonder why comrades from the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe failed to recognise the need to consult us there to be partners.”

He said they, therefore, recommended that the Nec revisits the newly-announced increment and revise it upwards to at least meet the expectations of the workers, which has been a minimum salary of US$600 per month.

Professional and General Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Abraham Kavalanjila said the increment was an insult and a mockery to mine workers.

“Nec and AMWUZ plus Chamber of Mines did this outside the law. Mine workers are rejecting these peanuts. This is not a living wage, mine workers last had their increment last March 2023,” he said

“Mine workers need US$600 for them to survive. Mining is the backbone of the economy. Remember, other unions were not consulted. It was a one-man band thing.”

He said mining workers had been degraded, neglected and “thrown into a rubbish bin”.

Source | NewsDay

https://www.newsday.co.zw/business/article/200028756/mining-workers-get-us355-salary-increment

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