Zimbabwe diamond company ups wages to end strike

Anjin Diamond,  a joint venture between a Chinese state-owned firm and a Zimbabwe military-affiliated company, is embroiled in numerous labor disputes since its founding two years ago with workers launching industrial actions on eight occasions so far.

Anjin's latest dispute was resolved after the diamond miner agreed to a 25% wage increase.

The Daily News reported last week that that 1,000 Anjin workers had ". . . vowed to remain on strike until their salaries are realigned with local diamond industry standards."

According to the report, the lowest paid Anjin employee in Zimbabwe is making $235. The country's established poverty line is $510.

The company, as Reuters reported, fought to make the strike brief as ". . . keeping diamond mining on track is vital for the [Zimbabwe] government, which owns half of Anjin and relies on the industry for revenue."

The company has pumped $400 million into its Marange diamond field operations leading some industry observers to say it could become the next De Beers.

A recent report by activist group Global Witness alleges that Anjin's ties to the army are extremely deep with half of the company's shares held by Zimbabwean military lawyer Brigadier-General Charles Tarumbwa.

Anjin was also recently accused by finance minister Tendai Biti of shadowy dealings and failure to declare earnings to Treasury, compelling Machacha to declare last month that Anjin had remitted $30 million in diamond taxes to the Zimbabwe government since September.