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» » » Workers protest ‘inhuman’ conditions at Gaika mine

Mine workers (file pic)

Shumirai Zhou

27 Feb 2017, GWERU
- Gaika Gold Fields workers are complaining of what they say are inhuman working conditions characterised by lack of protective clothing, poor sanitation, long working hours and poor remuneration.
The miners say there have been disease outbreaks at mine, which is located along Chiundura road near Kwekwe, with some miners dying as a result.
Workers who spoke to TellZim News said many workers are facing health challenges because they are forced to work with such harmful substances as caustic soda and cyanide with no protective clothing.
 "In the past, cyanide contamination led to the death of two miners; Douglas Chowa and Lovemore Nyambara but the mine did not cover for their burial services and has never bothered taking corrective measures ever since," said a miner who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Other workers also complained that mine management was in constant breach of employment contracts with no medical aid given when workers fall ill.
"Only the clerk is covered by the medical aid and we grapple with high medical bills because our salaries sometimes fall to as little as $250 or less," said one worker.
Some former employees of the mine have reportedly gone for a long time without being given their benefits and they are not getting their monthly pension payouts.
The workers said they had raised these complaints in one of the meetings with management but nothing was addressed.
Though no comment could be obtained from top management, mine plant operator Mathius Nyakudya said issues of pensions were addressed by the company's headquarters in Bulawayo and all ex-workers were getting their pensions every month.local

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