TAZARA workers down tools again

Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA) workers have downed tools again demanding their four months salary arrears and the removal of their management.

The workers have demanded that Transport Minister, Yamfwa Mukanga dismisses the TAZARA management for alleged failure to revamp the operations of the institution. The resolution to go on strike was arrived at after a meeting on Monday by both the Civil and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CAWUZ) and the Workers Union of TAZARA.

CAWUZ president Bevis Silumbe told the Daily Nation that the money that was paid to workers  and cleared all the arrears in August 2014 came from the Zambian government.

Mr Silumbe however said it was regrettable that there were no other initiatives from management to raise money for salaries or attract business.He said although Government gave the company US$3 million to pay all outstanding arrears, management had allegedly failed to account for the money which remained after paying the dues.

Mr Silumbe said all the 1,600 workers had not received their salaries since August and that it was clear that there was no intervention plan by the management to source for funds.

“It is unfortunate that workers have again not been paid for the past four months despite Government bailing them out last time. As a union we tried to engage management but they seemed not to have any idea on how they can make the company get back to normal operations.  We then issued an ultimatum and gave management up to 10th October and on the 13th October 2014 we went to ask management to leave their offices but police intervened . Workers resolved to boycott work.’’

The workers have since appealed to Government to find money and save the company from collapse.