The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) has agreed to effect a slightly over 100 percent salary increment for mine workers as the mining companies’ representative body moves to cushion workers against inflation.
The salary adjustment is applicable for the third quarter (July 1 to September 30,) and will see the least paid mine worker getting $14 750 per month.
Prior to this agreement, the least paid worker was getting $7 000.
Of the new wage rate, the equivalent of US$95 will be paid in local currency at the prevailing interbank exchange rate, which stood at $76,70 to the US dollar as of the last foreign currency auction.
However, non-foreign currency generating entities will be exempt from the foreign currency clause.
Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Tinago Ruzive, signed off the new National Employment Council (NEC) salary rate card on behalf of mine workers.
“The portion payable in US dollars shall be converted to Zimbabwe dollars at the prevailing interbank exchange rate at the time of payment and deducted from the respective minimum wage to determine the balance to be paid in the local currency,” reads the new NEC schedule.
“For clarity, the total earnings for each grade will be equal to the respective minimum for that grade.
“Non-foreign currency generating companies are excluded from the requirement to pay in US dollars,” advised the NEC.
The huge adjustment will go a long way in cushioning workers from the continuously rising cost of living due to inflation.
It is also in sync with Government’s policy direction, which entails that mining should be done in a manner that benefits both the investor, workers and communities living within the proximity of the mines.
The increase was also expected despite the challenges being experienced by other sectors of the economy due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Mining has not suffered much as a result of measures enforced to curb the spread of the virus like lockdowns.
In Zimbabwe, mining has from the outset, been accorded essential service status together with other key sectors like agriculture.
Mining is particularly important as it is the country’s largest foreign currency earning industry.