HomeBusiness DigestMining wage talks progress

Mining wage talks progress

THE Chamber of Mines and the Associated Mineworkers Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) could come up with an agreement soon on the 2016 minimum wage for the sector after negotiations made progress on Tuesday, businessdigest has learnt.

Kudzai Kuwaza

The meeting follows a stalemate between the two parties last week.

In the first meeting, the chamber proposed a reduction in the minimum wage which is US$248 while the mineworkers were demanding the poverty datum line (PDL) as the minimum wage. Zimbabwe’s PDL stood at US$480 as of July 2015, according to Zimstat.

Amwuz president Tinago Ruzive said although he could not discuss details of their meeting, there has been notable progress in negotiations with the chamber.

“We have made some progress,” Ruzive said after the meeting on Tuesday, adding “although it is a small step we regard it as progress although I cannot divulge what transpired during the meeting.”

However sources said the Chamber had proposed a -1% reduction in the minimum wage considering the challenges the mining industry is facing which include falling prices of most minerals and power shortages.

The mineworkers are said to have flatly rejected the proposal and maintained that there was need for an increase in the minimum wage to pacify restive workers in the sector.

Although both parties did not reach an agreement on Tuesday, sources said they are hopeful that an agreement could be reached as early as their next meeting which will be held on February 9.

The ongoing wage negotiations come at a time the Chamber of Mines completed a survey on the state of the mining industry, which was launched yesterday.

At a press conference this week Chamber of Mines CE Isaac Kwesu said weak mineral prices remain the biggest obstacle to growth in the sector.

“Our industry is going through difficult times specifically against the backdrop of depressed prices. The majority of mining houses are struggling to break even,” Kwesu said.

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