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Gold mine shuts down after strike causes extensive damage

A gold mine located about 8 km north-west of Gwanda has temporarily suspended its mining operations after a strike and riot which occurred on the 8th of November damaged property.

Vumbachikwe Mine has been closed until repairs completed and mine declared safe, the mine manager said in a statement.

The riot substantial damage to the mine and physical injury to certain employees.

“This illegal strike had been preceded by two other illegal strikes that took place on 17 the October and the 1st of November which have also contributed to the current situation,” the mine manager said in a statement.

“The mine manager’s first and primary duty is to ensure a safe workplace for all employees and secondarily to protect the mine and its assets.”

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“Essential Service providers have been working tirelessly since 9 November to clear and repair the damage inflicted on the mine. The mine will remain temporarily suspended until it is declared safe to resume operations by the mine. Safe, meaning in terms of compliance with statutory requirements in terms of infrastructure, Work Areas, Shafts, Equipment and the expected work environment for employees to discharge their duties without fear of physical violence or intimidation.”

“In furtherance of this the following are some of the activities underway necessary to uplift the suspension: Workers Committee needs to be confirmed by a confidential vote of the majority of the work force to ensure a proper forum for management-worker relations (Works Council). Work out plan required approved by duly authorised representatives of the work force.

“The mine may recommence operations when it is declared safe by the Mine Manager; and a mutually acceptable work out plan approved by management and duly authorized representatives of the work force (or alternatively sanctioned by the NEC in accordance with applicable Labour Law).”

“The Work Out plan will confirm how and when the Work Force will be paid, including both outstanding back pay and going forward. The work force is encouraged to agree a method to elect its duly authorized representatives.” NewsDay