Tensions rise as poor workers face dismissal after threatening to down tools

File picture: Mine workers strike

The Anjin Investments diamond mine in Marange has threatened to dismiss workers who go on strike to protest low salaries and poor working conditions.

In a memo to mine workers, Deputy Manager Prosper Munemo said all day shift workers must report for duty on Thursday, June 2. He warned that failure to work will be considered absent without leave, as the workers did not follow proper procedures for a legal strike.

Anjin is jointly owned by Zimbabwe’s military and a Chinese investor. The mine employs workers from the Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Minerals Workers Union.

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In a letter, the union secretary Justice Chinhema called on Anjin management to address the workers’ grievances instead of threatening them. He said a works council meeting on May 11 resolved to improve conditions but the company has not complied.

Chinhema listed several issues, including poor work environment with inadequate safety measures and dirty ablutions. He said workers are not paid a living wage to take care of their families.

Chinhema warned that if management ignores the workers’ demands, the industrial action will continue. He urged the company to resolve the issues before the situation deteriorates further.

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