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Chinese mine managers held hostage

by Staff reporter
01 Apr 2021 at 07:15hrs | Views
OVER 80 workers at the Chinese-owned Fools Investment Mine outside Bulawayo yesterday held the mine management hostage demanding better wages after the company offered to pay them US$50 each for the month of March. This came a few days after the mine fired 30 underground workers without notice, prompting their trade union to
threaten legal action.

The National Union of Mines, Quarrying, Iron and Steel Workers of Zimbabwe regional officer Abraham Kavalanjila confirmed the wage wrangle.

"We received a report that Fools Mine management has been held hostage by workers who demanded their salaries," Kavalanjila said.

"I understand it's all workers because the management wants to pay salaries of US$50 per employee claiming that they did not produce anything during the whole month."

He said the mine had 81 workers and all of them took part in the protest.

Mine manager Thulani Masuku confirmed that the management was held hostage by the workers.

He, however, declined to shed more light on workers' demands.

"Yes it's true the workers are holding management hostage, but I cannot tell you what is happening over the phone," Masuku said.

The mine was recently summoned to the National Employment Council for the mining industry for underpaying employees and failing to provide protective clothing.

It was also caught in the eye of a storm after one of its directors assaulted two employees over outstanding salaries.

Kavalanjila on Monday said the mine dismissed more than 30 employees.

"Fools Mine unfairly dismissed all underground workers and we have since written to them. The verbal response from management was that they maintain their stance. Very soon we will be taking them to court over unfair labour practices," Kavalanjila said.

He said the union would not sit and watch employers breaking the law, adding that if the Chinese were failing to run the mine, it should be placed under judicial management.

"All those dismissed were not paid their salaries," he said, adding that this could be US$300 000.

Last month, the mine was slapped with a $40 000 fine for allowing a foreigner, Zhang Zhongyi, to work as a metallurgist without a valid permit.

Source - newsday

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