via NRZ workers in daily nationwide protests – New Zimbabwe 27/04/2015
NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe workers have started daily nationwide protests aimed at forcing management to pay them their outstanding salaries.
The ailing parastatal has failed to pay its workers for the past 11 months. The workers are also owed thousands of dollars in unpaid transport allowances.
Last week the disgruntled workers staged a protest at the Bulawayo main station under the watchful eye of the anti-riot police. Addressing the workers, NRZ acting general manager Lewis Mugwada said the company was not in a position to pay salaries due to low business.
However, the parastatal’s four workers unions came up with a new strategy of daily two-hour protests to push management to act on their grievances.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Railway Association of Enginemen (RAE) vice-president Juniel Manyere vowed that they will continue with the daily protests until their concerns are addressed.
Manyere said the workers will return to work after every demonstration as a means of showing their commitment to the company.
“We want to expose mismanagement in the organisation, thus demonstrating against management and also demonstrate that we want to serve the organisation by going back to work. Even if the company manages to secure some partners they will know that they will find a committed workforce.
“We don’t want a complete work stoppage; what we want is to highlight our grievances that we have an insincere management which doesn’t know how to prioritise things,” said Manyere.
Railways Artisans Union (RAU) acting secretary general Farai Dambudzo said the unions were united and would push the board and management to address workers’ concerns.
“We are currently preparing a petition to the board that this management must go. That petition should be handed to the board and will be copied to the Minister of Transport Obert Mpofu and the Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko,” said Dambudzo.
Manyere also castigated the management for venturing into non-viable partnerships, pointing out that the partnership with Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway (BBR) was one such partnership from which the NRZ was not realising much.
“We have a situation where Beitbridge Bulawayo Railways takes away business from NRZ and the management tries to justify that saying all traffic belongs to NRZ when in fact it belongs to BBR,” he said.