The Herald (Harare)

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.

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