The tents in which ACF workers live
…striking workers are 'dissidents' – company says
27 Jan 2017 - MVUMA – More than 600 Africa Chrome Fields (ACF) Mine employees last week downed tools to protest what they call 'slave like' working conditions.
The mine is located on the Great Dyke, 53 km from Kwekwe along old Mvuma road between Munyati and Sebakwe rivers.
Workers told TellZim News they decided to down tools after the mine had shown no willingness to improve their welfare.
They cited long working hours, poor wages, lack of decent accommodation, no protective clothing and poor ablution facilities.
"We realised that this mine's management does not care for us in any way. We tried to have our issues addressed amicably but they ignored us. We are continuously being kept like slaves through inhuman working conditions here," said one worker.
"We are working 220 hours per month instead of 208 normal working hours but the extra hours are never paid for. We also stay in overcrowded tents with poor ablution facilities.
"We are get a paltry US$200 per month but others doing the same job in other mines are getting at least US$500.
"It's high time these people give us fair treatment because time for slavery is long gone by. We are asking for something as simple as sufficient protective clothing. What they just want is labour from us as they enjoy profits from their comfort zones," another worker said.
On Monday, sources said a truck load of soldiers had arrived at the mine as management flew to South Africa for consultations.
The workers revealed that they had petitioned company management and were waiting for a response by the time of writing.
ACF Assistant to National Project Liaison Director, Natalie Graaf, responding to questions from her South African base, dismissed the disgruntled workers as 'a small fraction' of 'dissidents bent on fermenting mischief.
"The dissidents represent a minute fraction of the total number of employees. It appears they have an ulterior motive which is political in nature. The vast majority of employees are all satisfied and happy with all the issues raised by the dissident.
"The matter has been resolved on site within hours and those that instigated the rush to down tools without proper cause will be investigated and brought to book fairly and equitably. ACF policy is one of fairness, equity and an impeccable work ethic and will not be diverted by a few who wish to derail a national project supported by government," she said.
The mine is owned by some South African business people although it is widely rumoured that it is getting protection from powerful politicians who are receiving kickbacks in return for impunity.news