At least 43 employees at Capfire Private Limited, a company subcontracted by Murowa Diamonds in Zvishavane protesting late payment of their wages have been dismissed from work this publication has established.

Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (Zdamwu) General Secretary Justice Chinhema confirmed the development in a letter to Capfire management.

“We note with concern that you have failed to pay salaries to workers for five months when they have worked and you have received payment from the principal employer (Murowa Diamond).

“This is unacceptable and your workers are demanding that they be paid full salaries for the five months as once-off payment and they are not ready to compromise their position,” said the trade unionist. Mine workers representatives were barred from entering company premises to negotiate with management over the issue.

Following the salary protest the sub-contractor terminated contracts for 43 employees.

“We have been advised that you have, through Murowa human resources department, verbally terminated the employment contracts of 43 of our members unlawfully,” Chinhema said.

He insisted the terminations were unlawful and, as such, a legal nullity.

In addition to late salary payments, it has also emerged that workers were being paid below the poverty datum line.

“Your workers submitted that they are earning wages that are below the National Employment Council (NEC) stipulations. This has been going on for sometime now. Mine industry wages are paid in two tire structures of USD and ZW$ every month as per the NEC stipulated wages.”

In an interview with this publication, Chinhema said Marowa, as the main contractor, has a case to answer.

“As ZDAMWU we believe Murowa is answerable. The work that was done benefited Murowa. This labour broking business must end. Big companies engage small individual paper bag companies to do their work thereby violating workers rights,” said Chinhema.

He said it was absurd that workers working at a diamond company could go for five months without salaries.

“How can workers working at a diamond  company go for 5 months without pay? Murowa Diamonds need to be careful, because this is against the laws governing Mining of Diamonds KPC,” he said.

Source NewZimbabwe