By Nhau Mangirazi
Renco Mine (RioZim) management has come under after it awarded two bottles of soft drinks to its workers as production bonus for the month of June 2020.
Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union, Secretary-general Justice Chinhema condemned the move by RioZim management saying it brings colonial reality where whites used to give their workers crumbs after toiling hard in the mines and farms.
Chinhema said, “The gesture by RioZim mine management was in bad faith during the economic trying times that are exposing working class to social responsibility to extended families. Furthermore, workers are scavenging for food to feed their families and few can afford to share soft drinks let alone without food on the table. The move was in bad taste,”
His call comes after RioZim offered two bottles of soft drinks each to its workers that cost One United States dollar.
Chinhema said, ‘This cannot be equated with the monthly production bonus per hour. It has clearly exposed how such big companies ill-treat their workers. Surely can a struggling family appreciate this coming from their bread winner as a thank you toiling the whole month giving the company extra effort? We are shocked and we look forward on the reversal of this move. This is as good as saying “you are useless”
However, investigations have revealed that there is a cold war between management and workers.
It is alleged that workers refused to sign an addendum to their contract of employment which seeks to change their conditions of service and this saw management playing tricks to frustrate the workers.
Chinhema added, ‘This was reminiscent of the biblical Esau who sold his birthright to Jacob in exchange of a delicious soup and we condemn this move in strongest terms possible,’
Chinhema condemned the gesture as a mockery meant to belittle and view manly underground workers as paupers.
However, the move has seen the mine suffering public condemnation from the general public.
Chegutu senator Violet Mokwetsi blamed Government soft stance on miners at the expense on general workers.
She said, ‘Our Government’s Look East policy where Chinese are regarded as being above the law has seen cases of workers abused with some being shot over salary disputes. It is high time workers’ rights are recognized and well appreciated. While condemning RioZim is good, we challenge mines minister not to be selective in rectifying these anomalies affecting workers in general. Together with labor minister and other stakeholders must work together, to clean up the mess,’
A notice from management dated 14 July 2020 addressed to all employees and circulated on social media nationally and internationally RioZim workers were advised to collect their token of appreciation of two bottles of soft drinks for the good production at the company’s clubs namely Bangala, Maramba and Manyanga.