Mash West Bureau
HUNDREDS of ex-Mhangura mine workers who allege to have been given a raw deal by their previous employer recently engaged the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union over their case. The workers who said their previous employer (Mhangura Copper Mines) had swindled them of their pension funds nearly two decades after being laid off have engaged the trade union to assist them to get their dues. The mine closed 18 years ago. The general secretary for Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers ‘Union, Cde Justice Chinhema, confirmed that union had taken over the case.
“Currently, ZDAMWU has taken over the issue of Mining Industries Pension Fund (MIPF) for some ex-Mhangura mine workers who did not receive their funds when they were retrenched. We are assisting the workers get their pension from the mining pension fund and through a survey we noted that a lot of workers only got their pension contributions without their employer’s contributions,” he said. Mr Chinhema said his organisation was conducting surveys in mining and former mining areas to assess the living conditions.
“ZDAMWU has noted that mine industry workers were the most affected, with poor salaries, compromised health and safety conditions, poor or non-payment of wages and unlawful termination of employment contracts. We are taking all the cases we are receiving to the National Employment Council (Mining) and Ministry of Labour. Mr Chinhema also said their mother body – the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Union (ZFTU) – has encouraged workers and ex-workers facing similar problems to visit its offices for assistance as it will help link the workers with their particular industry trade union groups. He also urged workers to be wary of bogus and deceitful people masquerading as ZFTU members.