By William Milasi
Vibrant mine workers union the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) in a capacity building drive has commenced the training of miners from across the country.
The training of workers in the mining sector was made possible through the support from IndustriAll a Switzerland based global union were ZDAMWU is an affiliate.
The trainings are being held in Harare and Bulawayo with the first training being held in Harare over the weekend.
“This education and training is an important instrument in membership capacity building,” ZDAMWU General Secretary Justice Chinhema told miners at a workshop held in Harare.
ZDAMWU in its strategic planning highlighted that it was going to give priority to membership education and training to sensitise miners on their rights and obligations.
“We believe Members should be well conversant with the union ideology, history of the union and laws governing their employment, amongst other important issues that shall be covered in this training.
“In order to protect, promote and advance members interests and aspirations, it is fundamentally important that we equip, starting with you today with necessary skills targeting union building and organising,” Chinhema said.
The training are covering areas such as labour law, dispute resolution and procedures, rights, safe and health as well as collective bargaining skills.
“This training is meant to enhance your consciousness which in turn would enable you to participate effectively and act promptly in an endeavour to liberate workers/ from the employers, whose aim is to maximise their profits at the expense of workers,” he said.
Chinhema added that the trainings will facilitate development of a well-informed membership for growth, development, prosperity and effectiveness of the organisation as well as advancement of the working class rights.
“This training is a basic and foundation of trade union education for the union. By establishing this education and training programme, we are building a formidable cadre-ship and consolidate our shop-floor capacity .This confirms the concept of education and training as an empowerment tool for emancipation and liberation of workers,”he said.
Some of the key objectives of the training include giving miners basic orientation on trade unionism, creating platforms for members to share experiences and work related issues, informing the members of their basic fundamental employment rights and influencing members to participate in and discuss employment, community development and society issues and equipping union members with basic skills to bargain for better employment conditions and push for more benefits as there is no limitation on bargaining.
“The skills that will be impacted today will strengthen the organization’s capacity to enhance the revolution spirit and struggle for workers liberation in the Mine Industry Sector in Zimbabwe and beyond.
We hope that this training will assist you, and all current and future members as we shall be fighting towards achieving the workers’ liberation agenda.
“Workers in the industry have been short-changed by other unions in the past and are no longer interested to be members of trade unions anymore,” he said.