OVER 400 National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) retrenchees have threatened to launch countrywide demonstrations daily, starting today in protest against non-payment of their terminal benefits.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
According to a petition sent to NRZ management recently, the ex-workers claimed they were owed between $9 000 and $60 000 each by their former employer.
Last year, NRZ fired over 400 employees taking advantage of the July 17, 2015 Supreme Court ruling, allowing employers to terminate workers’ contracts on three months’ notice.
The fired workers have since formed an organisation called Association of Railways Terminated Employees.
The association’s information and publicity secretary Bray Mudavanhu told Southern Eye yesterday that the protests would take place simultaneously countrywide.
“They are meant to be done countrywide. Management has not paid the retrenched workers their December 2014 salaries and pay notice for October 2015,” he said.
“This money was supposed to be paid in December 2015.They, instead, paid in-service people half salaries ignoring the retrenched.
“The retrenched are thus holding demonstrations to demand all the monies the company owes them. The money should be paid all at once, this is what the ex-workers want.”
Mudavanhu said the protest route was still to be finalised by yesterday, but said police would escort them.
This come amid disclosures that that top managers at the financially-struggling NRZ allegedly claimed about $70 000 as allowances for their children’s school fees at a time shop floor workers have gone for about a year without salaries.
Southern Eye reported that NRZ’s top 17 managers awarded themselves varying amounts totalling $69 777, as part of their school fees benefits.
The non-recurring earnings document type 26 from NRZ dated January 11, 2016, showed that the top five executives at the parastatal got $25 474, while 10 line managers received varying amounts totalling $44 303 as allowances for fees.
This followed reports that the NRZ managers have been getting between 70% and 85% of their salaries as of December last year, while the majority of workers went without pay.