Over 1500 diamond miners in Zimbabwe have been sacked following a strike for higher pay. Many of the workers have reported serious sexual assaults by the bosses.
In Zimbabwe - the Chinese diamond mining firm Anjim Investments has sacked 1500 workers who participated in a strike over pay, and better working conditions. The workers were demanding a rise from $235 a month, to $650 a month.
The sacked workers have been told that they can re-apply for their jobs if they wish.
The courts have ruled that the strike was illegal, enabling the bosses to sack seven members of the workers committee – and to take a much more robust approach to bullying and victimising the workers. The 1500 workers were initially suspended, but as soon as the court’s decision was known – they were sacked.
A worker, who has declined to give his name, has said,
“Chinese managers at the firm have been sodomizing workers. Despite promises by the management, the culprits have not been deported back to China. No action has been taken”
The management have written a letter of apology to the workers committee regarding sexual assaults – but has not commented on what action (if any) it plans to take.
Other disgraceful acts by the company include, the digging up graveyards to make way for the mine, and just throwing aside human remains – rather than transferring their bodies to a new cemetery.
The (CRD) a group that monitors human rights violations in the mining industry has said that,
"The decision to fire the workers was arbitrary and totally uncalled for. It is also a gross violation of the right of workers to engage in industrial action if their working conditions are appalling. The intolerance shown by the Anjin management in handling the workers genuine grievances is unacceptable in modern society. There are credible indications of gross human rights abuses against workers by Anjin management. Workers have been beaten with clenched fists, kicked around and called racist names by their Chinese employers. There are also reports of sodomy against the locals by the Chinese. These ought to be investigated and if found to be true, perpetrators must be brought to book.”
The company is reported to have extensive links to Zimbabwe’s armed forces – half of its shares are owned by the military lawyer, Brigadier-General Charles Tarumbwa.