RioZim workers issue seven days ultimatum to embark on strike
By Staff Writer
A crippling strike is looming at RioZim Limited, where mine workers are demanding an upward review of their remuneration and improved working conditions.
In a letter to the company, Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) General Secretary, Justice Chinhema said a number of concerns had to be addressed, failure of which would result in a nationwide strike.
The concerns raised by the miners at Renco, Cam and Motor and ENR mines include delayed payment of salaries, lack of protective gear and payments of bonuses to permanent employees, prejudicing fixed term contractors.
The letter seen by this publication reads: “You may recall the several meetings we had between mine managers and the respective Human resources personnel at your different locations aforesaid. You may also acknowledge that issues have been ventilated and several resolutions were made. In particular, in December 2021, we agreed on payments on back pays and salaries that were due. In January 2022, in respect of Cam and Motor, and ENR, parties signed a certificate of settlement before the Labour officer after a dispute that nearly accumulated into a job action.
“In April 2022, we had a meeting with your workers at Renco, and our thrust then was to avoid collective job action that was looming. You are aware what followed after the issues the workers were raising were not resolved, resulting in court litigation”.
Chinhema said RioZim has breached the settlement certificates and subsequent salary dates, which are never honoured.
He added: “Now, the employees have organised themselves in unison, and are saying enough is enough. The employer is always ready to employ the no work no pay principle, but in defiance of the parity principle, the employer is not willing to employ the no pay no work principle”.
The mine workers have agreed to down tools if their grievances are not addressed.
“All the workers at your different mine stations have agreed that they cannot continue to live in this prison-like employment set up, to the extent that some are even suggesting that Renco mine be re-named to Renco Open Prison.
“The plan now is to embark on a country wide collective job action. This is not the notice in section 104 (2a) of the Labour Act Chapter 28:01. It is a warning of what is looming, and we demand answers,” he said.
“We are also left with no option but to agree with the workers that their situation needs the employer to act, and if the employer fails to act, the workers will take action and defend their rights as per provisions of the law.”
The workers have given the company a seven day ultimatum to respond to their grievances.