BY SILAS NKALA
The Zimbabwe Diamond, Allied and Mineral Workers Union Zdamwu) has described as peanuts the 108% salary increase approved by the National Employment Council, Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ) on May 19.
Zdamwu secretary-general, Justice Chinhema yesterday described the salary increment as another slap in the face for the industry.
“Even if they negotiate 500% — as long it is in local currency it is a non-starter because the only solution is a United States dollar salary,” Chinhema said.
“These guys take mine workers for fools. There is need for a petition to challenge this. It did not come from the workers, and it’s not for the workers. Amwuz doesn’t represent workers’ interests. They have become part of the bourgeois class. Using the current official exchange rate, the minimum wage is US$360.”
Chinhema said before last week’s salary increase, the official exchange rate was pegged at US$359.
“So the increase of the minimum wage is US$1 up to December 2022. Rates change every week and we doubt that by December we will still be alive. Cooking oil is now US$6 from US$3,50 for two litres. We need currency stability,“ he said, pointing out that mine workers in other African countries like Ghana earned US$700 minimum wage.
With the current adjustment, the highest paid employee will now be getting $215 872, while the lowest paid mine worker will get $93 074 per month.
Before the adjustment, the least paid employee was earning $44 640 a month, while the highest paid was getting $103 536.
In US dollar terms and using the official exchange rate the least paid worker is entitled to US$198, while the highest paid should get US$459.
The new salary structure is for the period April 1 to December 31, 2022.
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