BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
WORKERS in the mining industry have been awarded an 80% salary increment following collective bargaining negotiations which will see the lowest paid employee in the sector earning ZWL$468,58 per month.
The workers will receive the new salary structure which back date to January 1, 2019.
Before the adjustment, the least paid employee in the mining sector was earning $260,32 a month, while the highest was taking home $603,78.
With the current adjustment, the highest paid employee will now be getting ZWL$1 086, 80.
Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) president Tinago Ruzive said the salary adjustments were necessitated by an increase in the cost of living.
“Yes, it’s correct that we negotiated and came up with an 80% wage increase across all grades. The increase will be implemented on dollar value,” Ruzive said.
However, a trade unionist Abraham Kavalanjila said the increment was a drop in the ocean, given the economic situation obtaining in the country.
“We can’t say the employer is at fault but the government has to fix the economy. If the increment had gone up by 300%, yes, we could be singing sweet music right now as workers. The mine workers are living like destitutes in a rich country like Zimbabwe,” he said.
Inflation pressures have seen the cost of living go beyond the reach of many in the southern African nation as prices of basic commodities have more than doubled in recent months.
Government does not have the capacity to sustain a salary increase for public sector workers, while most private sector players are failing to pay due salaries regularly.
The mine workers, through their representatives, have been pushing for poverty datum line-linked salaries.
Mining is the country’s largest source of export revenue and together with agriculture and tourism, the sector is expected to anchor economic growth this year