THE Amalgamated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Amuz) has accused Chinese investors of allegedly abusing workers and failing to adhere to the country’s laws.
Giving his solidarity message during the 47th edition of the Kamandama Mine disaster commemorations last Thursday, Amuz president Mr Tinago Ruzive said some Chinese investors in the country not only disregard national laws on basic labour practice, but also beat up employees and fail to give them pay slips.
He said in some businesses run by Chinese investors, employees work for long hours without any overtime payments.
“They make workers work long hours without overtime, at times they beat up workers and they do not provide the necessary personal protective equipment. We are appealing to Government to whip into line these investors to follow the rules and regulations of this country in whatever sector they invest in,” said Mr Ruzive.
“We have Statutory Instruments 152 of 1990 and the Labour Relations Act Chapter 28.01, which should guide all investors in the mining industry.”
“For one to be granted a work permit he or she must possess a special skill that locals do not have but we have Chinese pushing wheelbarrows here at Hwange Power Station, surely is that a special skill? Government must investigate this anomaly and address it urgently. Yes, we need investors but they must not be at the expense of our own people,” said the official who requested anonymity.
Mr Ruzive said as workers they were fully behind President Mnangagwa’s vision of turning the country into a middle class economy by 2030, adding that the mining industry has a pivotal role in making sure that vision is achieved.
Speaking at the same event, Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Richard Moyo, who was guest of honour, said Government fully supports mining operations and requires them to fully comply with safety regulations. “The office of the mining engineer has a major task of ensuring that all the mines in the district adhere to strict safety regulations, one injury is one too many for our country. Therefore, the issue of lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in workplaces should be addressed by employers expeditiously,” he said.
A senior Zanu-PF official in Hwange district also raised concerns over the importation of cheap labour by Chinese investors.