More than 600 workers at Anjin Investments, a Chinese mining firm extracting diamonds from Zimbabwe's eastern Marange field, are on strike demanding that their monthly wage be increased to US$600 with improvements in their working conditions.
Sources close said workers went on strike Saturday after negotiations with management stalled. Some are now paid as little as US$180 a month, the sources said.
The workers have vowed not to go back to work until their grievances are met. Anjin management, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and officials in the Ministry of Mines could not immediately be reached for comment.
Anjin was recently granted permission by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to sell some 2 million carats of diamonds from the controversial Marange field.
Parliamentary Mines Committee member Moses Mare said some foreign investors, especially those from Asia, do not respect Zimbabwe’s labor laws.
Japhet Moyo, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said it is disheartening that Anjin is underpaying workers despite its substantial profits.
“To make matters worse," Moyo said, "the workers are not allowed by the company to join our union which is concerned about their plight."