Mine workers get 3% salary increment

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Zimbabwe agreed on a 3% increment of the mining sector’s minimum wage for 2015 on Friday last week, businessdigest has learnt.

Kudzai Kuwaza

This move pushes the minimum wage in the mining sector by only US$7,15 from US$238,41 to US$245,56.

“We have settled for a 3% increment as the minimum wage for 2015,” a source revealed. “The negotiations went on very well.”

At the negotiating table, the union demanded a 10% increment for the year while the Chamber’s position, according to close sources, was that its members would not award any increment.

The employers’ body cited the financial difficulties most mining firms are facing as a result of the economic decline in the country aggravated by the depressed global prices of minerals such as chrome and gold. As a result of the poor performance, most mining companies had retrenched workers, introduced shorter working weeks or sent employees on unpaid leave, making it difficult for mining houses to increase wages, the Chamber is said to have argued.

However, after haggling the parties agreed to a 3% increment.
The union had also proposed that there be two minimum wages for the sector with a higher minimum wage for mining houses that produce platinum and diamonds as they were the most viable in the sector, and a lower minimum wage for the rest of the sector taking into account the low price of minerals such as gold.

However, according to insiders, the Chamber shot down the proposal saying the cyclical nature of mineral prices will not make the idea feasible.

The agreement comes at a time when several national employment councils are still to agree on the minimum wage for last year, with some still deadlocked on the minimum wage for 2013.

Some of the councils have abandoned wage negotiations altogether as acute financial difficulties take its toll on the companies that fall under these sectors.

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