26 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Mazowe Bricks Workers Down Tools

More than 300 workers at Mazowe Bricks situated at Good Farm, 42km along the Harare-Bindura road, yesterday staged a demonstration over what they described as paltry wages and poor working conditions.

The singing and placard-waving workers at the Chinese-owned company complained that they were getting a salary of US$20 per month, which is not gazetted by the construction sector.

Chairman of the workers committee Mr Fadwell Papaya identified the company directors as a Ms Tsung, Mr Chain and Mr Zhang.

Efforts to get a comment from Ms Tsung or Mr Zhang were fruitless as their mobile phones were not reachable.

Mr Papaya said that besides the poor wages, the working and living conditions at the farm they were allocated by the Government were appalling.

"As you can see, we live in very squalid conditions despite manufacturing bricks here. The company directors are abusive and give us reject bricks to put up these sub-standard structures," said Mr Papaya.

"A health hazard is looming as more than 300 people including men, women and children share one toilet."

He said other problems the employer had failed to address included failure by the employer to grant them leave or off-days and salary increment for the past five years.

The workers also complained of failure by the employer to provide them with protective clothing, bonus, medical support or first aid when injured at work and maternity leave.

Copyright © 2013 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.