via Diamond workers on Chiadzwa looting – NewZimbabwe 1 June 2015
THE Zimbabwe Diamond Miners Workers Union (ZDMWU) has said it will not be intimidated by diamond mining companies who are looting diamonds in Chiadzwa while suppressing their workers.
Secretary general Justice Chinhema said ZDMWU’s sole objective is proper representation of workers in the diamond industry in pursuit of good working conditions, fair labour practices, wages and salaries and to ensure diamond industry workers have a say in extraction activities.
Chinhema said the unprecedented looting of national resources have gone for too long while working conditions in Chiadzwa remain primitive and oppressive with the community lagging behind on development.
The union was responding to a Sunday Mail article which blasted ZDMWU, claiming the union was working with western governments to discredit the local diamond sector and push for the country`s suspension from the Kimberly process.
Chinhema said they were not moved by such claims, saying they would remain resolute in fighting for the rights of workers who have been reduced to paupers by a few individuals.
“ZDMWU distances itself from the recent industrial action by Mbada Diamonds workers not as claimed by some sections of media that we triggered the strike.
“We wish to set the record straight that as a union, Mbada workers were forced to embark on a strike by their employer who had failed to pay them their salaries for over nine months,” said Chinhema.
“As if it was not enough, Mbada refused to accept the advice from the workers committee to bring in officials from the ministry of Labour. However, Mbada Diamonds, through the Human Resources Manager Albert Zindi, denied workers the right to be represented when it barred us from representing workers during the hearings as stipulated by law,” said Chinhema.
He said the workers were making genuine noise not as reported by the Sunday Mail that they wanted to capture media attention and tarnish the image of Zimbabwe ahead of the Kimberly meeting in Angola in June.
Chinhema said ZMDWU would continue to expose corrupt and unfair labour practices perpetuated in Chiadzwa.
“Furthermore, Zimbabwe Diamond Miners Workers Union is a duly registered and subscriptions based trade union formed by workers themselves. To link it with western sponsors is hogwash influenced by corruption,” said Chinhema.