THE 2014 wage negotiations between the Chamber of Mines and Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe have stalled after the employer body refused to increase the current minimum wage of US$227.
Report by Kudzai Kuwaza
Although both the chamber and the union have remained tight-lipped over developments in the negotiations, a source told businessdigest that the mines body had refused to increase the wages to the poverty datum line level of about US$573, arguing the provision of free accommodation, education, transport and electricity among other perks meant that the workers were already getting the PDL linked minimum wage level.
“The negotiations are not going well because of the chamber’s position,” the insider said.
The parties, the source said, agreed to assign the National Employment Council of the sector to carry out research countrywide to investigate the veracity of the mines claims. The results, the source revealed, would be expected by the end of next month.
The battle lines had been drawn in October this year with the union demanding a minimum of between US$400 and US$500 while the employer body insists it is not feasible citing the poor performance of the mining industry. The employer body argues chrome and metal prices are performing poorly while the gold sector is also struggling.
Some gold mines, it argues, are being run on a care and maintenance basis.