‘Workers fired for demanding outstanding pay’


National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) management has allegedly given some of its workers dismissal letters for embarking on a strike to demand their outstanding salaries.


The workers began a nationwide two-hour daily strike last week and have vowed to continue with the job boycotts until Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Obert Mpofu addresses their grievances.

According to sources some workers from other stations in the country werealso given dismissal letters for continuing with the strike. It could not be immediately verified how many workers have been served with dismissal notices and the departments they belonged to.

“Some workers on strike have been issued dismissal letters as they have refused to continue working until their grievances are addressed,” said the source.

Railways Artisans Union (RAU) president Shadreck Mutakura yesterday said he was not aware of the development.

“The demonstration was never a strike but the workers were just demanding their salaries and if true, the move by the NRZ to give workers dismissal letters is just unfortunate,” he said.

NRZ spokesperson, Fanuel Masikati refused to comment referring southern Rye to the parastatal’s statement issued on Thursday.
In the statement, the NRZ appealed to its employees to return to work.

“NRZ developed and communicated to all its employees last week a partial payment plan for the current month from the very limited available revenue inflows,” reads the statement.

“As a short measure therefore NRZ will continue to rely on its valued customers to avail as much traffic on offer as possible while all staff fully resume operations and hence generate sufficient funds.”

NRZ board chairman Alvord Mabhena was recently issued a five-page petition detailing the deepening crisis bedevilling the once powerful parastatal.

The petition, also copied to minister Mpofu and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, was signed by the workers’ representative unions which include the Railways Association for Enginemen (Rae), RAU , Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railways Workers Union (Zarwu) and Railways Association of Yard Operating Staff (Rayos).