Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has accused Hwange Colliery Company of neglecting its workers whom they said are facing countless difficulties including defaulting on their loan and housing obligations due to unpaid salaries in excess of $70 million.
According to ZCTU President Peter Mutasa, there is a high level of victimization if workers ask for their salaries or anything related to their conditions of service.
“The majority of Hwange Colliery workers have now defaulted on contractual payments for residential stands, insurances and other obligations.
“Besides that, there is also a higher level of victimization if workers ask for their salaries or anything related to their conditions of service, hence the resolve by their wives and the community to demonstrate on their behalf.
He added that the ZCTU sought the intervention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa but they failed to resolve the matter.
“On 2 February 2018, the ZCTU sought the intervention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa but his envoy, Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu failed to solve the matter.
“We believe the President should have sent the Labor Minister instead of Mpofu who is responsible for the police,” said Mutasa.
The ZCTU President revealed that Hwange women and workers are bitter and still disregard the new dispensation due to the harsh treatment they are exposed to.
“Women and workers from Hwange said they will understand that we are in a new dispensation when they start having food on the table and if their children can go to school wearing proper school shoes and another school needs to attend school.
“When we talked to workers from Hwange and people who are demonstrating, they feel that they are living in another country by being marginalized so the vibe about the new dispensation is something being talked about somewhere but not in Hwange,” said Mutasa.
“The whole community is in a bad state and it will not be surprising that one day there could be an outbreak of serious diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
“An average of 200 people share a toilet and worse still those toilets have no doors depriving people of privacy.
“We will also continue to make a follow up on President Dambudzo Mnangagwa to intervene in this matter.
“Government is the majority shareholder at Hwange Colliery Mine, making it a strategic unit of government it must not be run down,” added Mutasa.
Hwange Colliery management indicated that they owe creditors US$352 million, including US$70 million to employees – something they say is responsible for their failure to pay salaries for workers.
Meanwhile, High Court has ruled against a bid by Hwange Colliery Company (HCC)’s bid to bar spouses of employees of the coal miner from protesting against unpaid wages for their husbands. The High Court noted that bid by Hwange Colliery Company is not urgent.