- August 22, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
In an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Mining sector mine workers under Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZDAWU) have recommended temporally shut down of all mines for a period of 1-2 weeks to allow compulsory testing of mine workers and families of workers and massive disinfection of workplaces, compounds, and all areas surrounding mines.
Through a statement issued by ZDAWU General Secretary Justice Chinhema, on Wednesday, the union consulted mine workers and miners to see the temporary closure of the mining sector as a way of curbing the spread of the Coronavirus which has already attacked the mining industry.
“The union after consultation with the general membership in the mining industry recommends the following: Temporally shut down of all mines for a period of 1-2 weeks to allow compulsory testing of mine workers and families of such workers who stay in mine compounds or who have been staying in these compounds. Massive disinfection of workplaces, compounds, and all areas surrounding the mine,” said Chinhema.
The mineworkers also recommended that a task force responsible for the restriction of the virus in the mining sector be created as a way of building a strong team with different water holding ideas, according to the statement, all major mining stakeholders should be part of this joint task force.
“Compulsory joint task force that includes officials from Chamber of Mines, Zimbabwe Miners Federation, Trade Union (ZDAMWU), Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Labour, National Social Security Scheme (NSSA), Mining Industry Pension Fund (MIPF), Police, National Employment Council (NEC) and all other mining industry stakeholders.” The statement reads in part.
ZDAWU also recommended Covid-19 awareness campaigns to the mining community, the union recommended that all media platforms should be used to spread the dangers of the virus in the mining community.
“Awareness campaigns through the printing of materials, radio shows in all mining communities particularly artisanal mining operated communities.” reads the statement.
The union also recommended the government to go hard on the mining community in making sure that government COVID-19 measures and guidelines are adhered to. It also advised the government to consider giving a COVID-19 allowance to the miners.
1. “Deterrent punitive laws against employers or persons who breach the set down guidelines to prevent Covid-19.
2. Serious enforcement of lockdown regulations by law enforcement agencies (police) in all mining communities
3. As a last resort, the complete shutdown of all mines that violate COVID-19 regulations.
4. Consider a COVID-19 allowance to all mineworkers since the sector was declared an essential service.
5. Strict control measures of movement of people to and from the mining compounds. Strict vetting of visitors or family members who visit workers and where infection occurs contact tracing should be immediately carried out.
6. Ensure that Gold Milling centres adhere to the stipulated restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.” Said Chinhema.
According to Chinhema, the union needs to make a radical approach in dealing with the threats of the pandemic in order to save lives and safeguard the general safety and the health of workers in the mining industry.