Mining companies operating in Zimbabwe including Rio Tinto, Aquarius Platinum, Impala Platinum and Anglo Platinum have agreed on a 3% wage increase settlement, providing them with temporary labour dispute relief.
Mineworker union leaders in Zimbabwe said the settlement falls significantly below the 10% members were asking for. However, this decision seems to have paved the way for a potential showdown over wage increases before the end of the year, union executives said.
According to a the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, the least-paid platinum and diamond mine worker in Zimbabwe will now earn about $242 a month after the increase.
“We have just agreed to this because employers were saying government and the central bank have said there shouldn’t be any salary increases this year,” Tinago Ruzive, secretary general of the union, said in an interview.
Zimbabwe has the world’s biggest platinum and chrome reserves after South Africa as well as deposits of diamonds, iron ore, gold, coal and nickel.