Workers at Dinson Colliery in the Hwange district have threatened to go on strike if the management fails to address their grievances.
The workers served management with a 14-day notice, having previously staged a sit-in outside the company’s premises last week demanding a pay rise and the right to form workers committees or join unions.
Management engaged workers and pledged to pay 35 per cent of salaries in United States dollars after workers had staged a sit-in.
Through the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU), the workers wrote a letter of notice to the Dinson Colliery manager dated 1 February.
The letter which was signed by ZDAMWU secretary-general, J Chinhema was also copied to NEC Mining, Ministry of Labour including their local Hwange office, ZRP Hwange and workers. It read in part:
We write on behalf of our members at your mine, and on behalf of all your workers at Dinson, who have voted and agreed to engage us to write to you as we hereby do.
We hereby give you 14 days’ Notice effective 02 February 2022, of the intention to embark on collective job action as per requirements of section 104(2a) of the Labour Act Chapter 28:01.
For the avoidance of doubt, the collective job action shall commence on 15 February 2022, unless otherwise resolved.
The issues that the workers are complaining against the employer are as follows; non-provision of PPE (workers reserving the right to embark on the immediate withdrawal of labour in light of health hazard), threatening and harassment of workers including banning workers to form a workers committee and join a trade union of their choice, non-existence of Works Council and no clear channel for workers to air their grievances.
You would also note that the workers are earning wages below the NEC stipulated rates and all other mandatory statutory boards are not complied with.
The workers also criticised the company for allegedly using police and political parties to threaten them against exercising their rights. The letter read:
Slave trade and free labour don’t exist in Zimbabwe anymore and we wish to express strongly that your continued violation of workers’ rights in the name of investment must end.
Zimbabwe is a democratic county which respects the rule of law and no amount of victimization will silence the workers from demanding their rights and respect of their interest.
It is therefore important that this issue be resolved forthwith.