Zdamwu in historic Egyptian visit, signs regional agreement

By William Milasi
Zimbabwe’s biggest mine workers union the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mineral Workers Union (Zdamwu) is currently in Egypt where it is meeting with the biggest union in Egypt the General Trade Union Mines Quarries and Salinas Workers.
Zdamwu’s delegation comprised of General Secretary Justice Chinhema who was accompanied by the union’s president Lovemore Katapire and the union’s treasurer Samson Makonde signed a memorandum of understanding towards the establishment of the African Federation of Mine Workers and Mineral Wealth.
The Egyptian delegation was headed by GTUMQSW president Mohamed Abdelhalim, secretary general Nageh Gomha, treasurer Ashraf Shehata and Kamel Khedr international relations coordinator.
Speaking from Cairo after the signing of the agreement Chinhema said the development is welcome.
“The opportunity to network with regional trade unions in our sector is welcome particularly when you are meeting towards the birth of a great movement. This has been long overdue because Solidarity among the African trade unions benefit of our African Workers and is a revolution on its own that shall shack capital, governments included. More importantly, the discussions on how to push bilateral relations forward, the exchange of experiences and training courses are fundamental and enables us to unite and fight governing systems and policies that oppress workers,” he said.
He added that mine workers in Zimbabwe are in total support of the operationalization of the federation of mine workers.
“We have been mandated to make a firm declaration that ZDAMWU and mine workers of Zimbabwe are 100% in support of the operationalization of the African Federation of Mine Workers and Mineral Wealth. ZDAMWU and Zimbabwe will move a motion that the headquarters of this federation be Cairo Egypt and the candidature of your union President be forwarded as the founding Secretary General of this Federation. We are committed to these proposals, and we commit to use all our influence amongst other unions in our sector towards the proposals,” he said.
The Zdamwu General Secretary further highlighted that the meeting in Egypt is important as the union seek to explore many areas of corporation that build strong organizations able to defend the interests, of members.
“ZDAMWU is a SOCIALIST left-wing movement that advances systems that balance the power between capital and labour through approaches that guarantees the improvement, promotion, protection of workers’ rights and interests characterized by economic equality, good governance and justice for all in society,” he said before adding, “We commit ourselves to more exchange visits and activities in the area of training, organizing as well as information exchange. We aim to reach where you are today in terms of numbers through your support.”
Chinhema said Zdamwu is currently, pushing for key deliverables towards the transformation of mine workers and their communities in Zimbabwe which are value addition and beneficiation of minerals for job creation and creation profit sharing for transformation of living standards, share ownership schemes for community development an end to all forms of harassment on female workers and equality of all workers, decent accommodation for mine workers Restoration of dignity to mine workers.
“These key demands must now be the African demand for transformation of our continent. We seek for your union’s support to achieve these demands and we look forward to your support in many areas so as to achieve African goals as a union we are really honored to have been part of the group of African workers in Solidarity and we look forward to fruitful, robust and aggressive engagements as we shall be demanding more from our governments and our employers. African resources for Africans,” he said.

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