ZDAMWU General Secretary outlines 2021 roadmap
Zimbabwe Diamond Allied and Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) General Secretary Justice Chinhema has outlined the 2021 roadmap which the union is going to take in fighting for workers’ rights in the mining sector.In his address to ZDAMWU staff members, the General Secretary said while he appreciates challenges being faced by the sector that however, does not give room for complacency.
“As we enter 2021 which has already started badly due to the new lockdown regulations announced by the government, we don’t know what this will do to our day to day operations. However, we thank God that we always find wisdom to do right things at the appropriate time,” the GS assured members.
Government has allowed ZDAMWU staff members to operate during this lockdown period after giving the union exemption letters which allows members unrestricted movement. “However the exemption is also not an exemption to us on the effects of covid-19, as we will be working. I urge you all to practice safety and wear face masks as well as sanitizing our hands and those we meet every day. We need to take care of our loved ones and the communities we live in,” the GS said.
He rallied on the staff members to work hard.
“Comrades as we open our 2021 working calendar let me make it clear to you all that 2021 will be a year of action, anyone amongst ourselves who is not prepared to toll the ZDAMWU LINE is strongly advised now to think twice on either to walk away or reform. As the administration we are to lead mine workers across the country to demand necessary reforms within the industry for better and changed working conditions.”
On COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, the General Secretary said the issue must be treated as a matter of urgency.
“The way Collective Bargaining is being done today require us to mobilize and demand reforms that bring back dignity to mine workers whose dignity was stolen long ago when AMWUZ sold out the struggle. Contrary to what AMWUZ is saying to a few workers who still believe in their lies “the reform agenda of the NEC and all its systems has become a priority now and alive. This is now our DNA as ZDAMWU Union Yevanhu, iUnion Yabantu.
“We want this to be very clear and we shall never tire in seeking reforms on Collective Bargaining, Dispute Resolution, Alignment of the CBA to the Labour Act and the Constitution, and Reforms on policy that allows extraction of mineral resources. We want to see beneficiation and value addition on all minerals mined in Zimbabwe for job security and job creation. We are the champions as our members have said and a union on the ground received by the workers across the country;” he said.
The GS called on everyone interested in fighting for mine workers’ rights including AMWUZ to call for reforms as they risked losing out.
In the GS outline the reforms will be pushed through
-Advocacy and mobilization of all Mine workers and their communities to rally behind ZDAMWU.
-encouraging all eligible workers to become members of a moving train without any delay.
-pushing through corperate rescue process for opening of all closed mines to return to full operations.
The implementation and rolling out of a comprehensive reform agenda will include: –
a) NEC structural reforms – we must become a part to the NEC as soon as possible
b) Extensive membership mobilization across all districts and mines
c) Attend to all past and current disputes expeditiously to the satisfaction of members
d) Amendment of the CBA, Code of Conduct and MIPF Act to be in line with Labour Act and Constitution
e) Setting out union structures across all mining districts and mines targeting female workers, young workers, skilled workers and all non-unionized workers.
f) Working with communities where mining is taking place for mutual interests and benefits.
g) Designing or aligning our services based special needs of special groups of workers in order to attract them to join the union.
h) Making sure the CBA is also aligned with those needs.
The GS reiterated his end of year statement on 1 January 2021 where top of the ZDAMWU’s priority, “in our 2021 agenda statement remains the need to become the voice of all mine workers in Zimbabwe. As stated in my end of year statement, we will be focusing our efforts on the union members’ interests. The fight for a living wage, safe working environment, better working conditions not casualization of labour which is rampant is key,” he said.