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Zimbabwe Railway Workers Strike Over 10-Month Salary Arrears

Close to 100 employees of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) staged a peaceful demonstration in Mutare on Tuesday over unpaid salaries dating back to June last year, and vowed to continue on the industrial action until the company management gives in to their demands.

At the parastatal’s headquarters in Bulawayo, the workers downed their tools for two hours and vowed that they were going to continue with this kind of protest until their demands, which include the ouster of management they blame for the parastatal’s woes, have been met.

Union workers said they were not going to go on a full-fledged strike as this would cripple the already ailing parastatal. They will stage the protests for two hours between 8am to 10am every day.

Railways Association of Enginemen vice-president Juniel Manyere told the state-controlled Chronicle newspaper that the demonstrations were aimed at forcing the board to replace the management.

The Mutare workers, who were singing and waving placards, are reported to have started their protest Monday and say they will continue with their protest throughout the week.

NRZ spokesman, Fanuel Masikati, denied that poor management was to blame for the company’s financial woes but laid the blame on the closure of some companies.

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Deputy chairman, Ambrose Sibindi of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Western region, said railway management is failing to run the parastatal.