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NSSA told to reign in Chinese companies

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NSSA told to reign in Chinese companies


Ellen Mlambo

MASVINGO-The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has expressed concern over the flaunting of labour practices, environmental laws and inhuman conditions exposed to locals by Chinese companies operating in the country.
The congress’ president Florence Mucha Taruvinga said those employed by the Chinese are literally slaves who do not have a say even over their safety.
She said this today at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) organized national commemorations of the World Day for Safety and Health at workplaces held at the Civic Centre in Masvingo.
The commemorations were held under the theme: ‘Safe and Healthy Work Environment; A Fundamental Principle and Right at Work’.
Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima was the guest of honour represented by his deputy minister Lovemore Matuke.
NSSA acting General Manager Charles Shava, representatives from the International Labour Organisation, Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Delta Beverages, Bulawayo City Council, Mimosa Platinum Mine, Hwange Coal and Gasification Company and Doves Funeral Services and several others attended the commemorations.
“We have serious safety deficits in the Chinese-owned companies. We are calling on NSSA to protect the citizens and workers in Zimbabwe at Chinese workplaces. As organized labour, we recognize the statutes in Zimbabwe. As citizens of the country, we follow and act upon what governs us.
“If Chinese investors continue to disregard the statutes, particularly the Labour Act and workers’ rights in Zimbabwe, and they continue to loosely do it without anyone taking them to board, we will do it ourselves,” she said.
The commemorations are held to promote the prevention of occupational accidents, injuries and ill health.
Taruvinga also said that the Chinese have loosely become owners of the country doing what they want to the workers, environment and citizens. She also reiterated that it is the responsibility of both employers and employees to ensure that steps are taken to reduce the risks of incidences and maintain a safe working environment.
Recently a worker at a Mine in Mashava was kicked on his manhood by his Chinese employer for allegedly sleeping on the job. Some workers are forced to do 12-hour shifts at mines while Shurugwi residents are up in arms with Chinese miners who are mining on the scenic Boterekwa Road for failing to maintain roads.
Chinese miners are also accused of failing to build lasting infrastructure to plough back to their host communities as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

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