Harare, Zimbabwe — 15 October 2013 – A showdown is looming between the Chamber of Mines and the Associated Mineworkers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) as the two parties head for another round of wage negotiations amid indications that the union is pushing for salaries of US$400 to US$500 “’ figures the mines deem as too high.
allAfrica.com reports that a source in the body representing the mines told “The Zimbabwe Independent” that such demands were not feasible “’ a position that could set a potential showdown when the two parties sit down next month for wage negotiations for the 2014 minimum wage structures.
“The suggested minimum increase by the union is not feasible,” a source said. “Some of the mines, particularly gold mines are on a care and maintenance basis. Most of the gold mines are in dire straits, so paying such a minimum wage is not feasible."”
He added that difficulties in the mining sector were compounded by the poor performance of other minerals such as chrome and metal. The official, however, declined to disclose figures the employer body could afford to give workers at the beginning of next year.
Amwuz president Tinago Ruzive said the union was currently consulting its members on their position, but there have been suggestions that the minimum wage should not be less than US$400 to US$500.
“The position is that the union has circulated a paper to all our members on what we should demand for 2014 from the Chamber,” Ruzive said.
“Workers are up in arms as they want the minimum wage upped from the current minimum of US$227 to between US$400 to US$500. We don’t know what the chamber’s response will be, but we want to meet them next month.”
He added that the current minimum could not sustain the upkeep of its members and there was a need to adequately remunerate mineworkers.
Ruzive said that mineworkers in the diamond mines in Chiadzwa want their minimum wage increased to US$1 000, arguing these particular mines were making huge profits at the expense of the workers.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.