Diamond miners mull downing tools 

Source: Diamond miners mull downing tools – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Justice Chinhema

THE Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) says it is mobilising mine workers to down tools in protest over poor working conditions.

The miners are complaining that the Mines ministry has failed to confront companies over reported cases of slave wages, unfair labour practices and other forms of abuse, including unsafe working environments.

ZDAMWU secretary-general Justice Chinhema said mine workers were suffering in silence with the Mines ministry allegedly siding with mining companies.

“Workers under ZDAMWU are mobilising to speak with one voice. We have been silent for too long and definitely a radical approach to bread and butter issues is the only way,” Chinhema said.

“Retiring workers are dumped by the roadside and those who worked for closed mines are facing the same (fate). This must end and it can only end if you confront your oppressor head-on.”

Recently, former workers and their families were evicted from Bindura’s Ran Mine.

Chinhema added: “The Chamber of Mines should now know that mine workers deserve a living wage commensurate with the work and value of minerals mined. We are actually training workers to work according to the value of salaries they earn, why should we kill ourselves for nothing. Mine workers are providing free labour.”