Disgruntled workers at Kwekwe-based mining explosives firm, GML Explosives, formerly Dyno, Nobel Zimbabwe, downed their tools in protest over unpaid wages.
“We have not been getting consistent salaries for the past 10 years and when we did receive the salaries they were 70% of what we were supposed to get. We did not know for which month we were receiving the salaries,” Fanuel Gadziwa, GML workers committee chairperson, said.
Gadziwa accused his fellow employees and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) officials Emmanuel Chikohora and Snowman Nyati of siding with GML managing director Jairos Mushirivindi.
Zimbabwe Chemical and Plastic Allied Workers Union (ZCPAWU) president Nyati said: “I am no there. I don’t even know there is a strike. They didn’t tell me of any grievances, I mean the workers committee chairperson, they are doing things improperly. I cannot expect a salary when the company is not producing.”
ZFTU secretary for policy implementation and research and ZCPAWU national organising secretary Jacob Mupeti said Nyathi was not serving workers’ interests.
“Two company vehicles, a tractor and a forklift are at Nyathi’s house. He can’t claim to be serving the interests of the workers when he is on the side of the Croatian investors. He is working with Mushivirindi. He is also 72 years old and should have been retired years, back but he is still with the company because he is serving the interests of the owners.”
Allegations which Nyati denied.
Mushirivindi could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print as his mobile phones were continuously unreachable.
The matter took a political twist as the Zimbabwe Federation Trade Union (ZFTU) took over and chanted Zanu PF slogans before addressing the workers.
Founded in 1990 as a technology transfer joint venture between the Swedish and Zimbabwean governments through the Industrial Development Corporation, the company became locally-owned in September 2007 before being taken over by Croatian investors in 2014.
GML has monopoly over the production of civil explosives in Zimbabwe and it serves the metallurgical and civil construction industries. The company also imports and sells explosive accessories such as detonating cords, igniter cords and fuses.