Mining wage

Miners worry about wage erosion

BY SILAS NKALA
MINE workers have been concerned about their recent wage increases which have since been eroded by soaring inflation and the cost of living.

The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mine Workers Union (Zidamwu) wrote last Tuesday to the President of the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) raising concerns about wage erosion.

Amwuz is one of the mining wage negotiators also involving the National Employment Council (NEC) for the mining industry and the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines.

In May this year, Amwuz, NEC and the Chamber of Mines agreed to a 108.5% wage increase for miners, which Zidamwu’s general secretary, Justice Chinhema, described as a slap in the face for miners. minors.

The 108.5% increase saw the lowest paid employee in the industry earn $93,074 per month from $44,640 per month, while the highest would get $215,872 from $103,536. Using the current official exchange rate, the minimum wage in mining would be $360 in US dollars.

“I am writing to you again at a critical time for our industry members. Today, the current economic situation in the country, characterized by high inflation, shortage of certain commodities, soaring parallel market exchange rates, including interbank exchange rates, rising prices commodities and services, among others, has left mining industry workers and the general people of Zimbabwe enduring the unbearable crisis and living in poverty while working.

“It is sad to see that the mining industry is the backbone of the country’s economy, as clearly positioned by the Government of Zimbabwe through National Development Strategies (NDS) 1 and 2 and the 12 billion US dollars for 2023, the standard of living of miners is a far cry from what is expected of them. Mining districts in Zimbabwe do not have large supermarkets that sell basic commodities in local currency that workers can purchase using current earnings,” Chinhema wrote.

He said this was a crisis in itself, as the current minimum wage structure set for the second quarter of 2022 was below the poverty line.

“In light of the above, we kindly request that you call an urgent meeting of the NEC to consider an adjustment to the cost of living at all levels indexed to the foreign currency. It is high time that we made the employer responsible for the standard of living of its workers. Workers are aware of the profit margins achieved and production levels as well as the value of minerals mined in Zimbabwe,” Chinhema added.

The miners propose the introduction of housing and transportation allowances for those not housed in the mining concessions.

Amwuz has yet to respond to the letter.

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