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Divisions Rock Striking Zimbabwe Railway Workers

FILE: Some of the protesting NRZ workers in Harare on Friday, May 20, 2016. (Photo: Thomas Chiripasi)

Some striking workers of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) are said to have heeded a 24-hour ultimatum issued by the company last week for them to return to work.

But others are continuing with the strike saying their grievances have not yet been met. The workers have been demanding outstanding salaries backdating to 2015.

Kenneth Nhemachena, general secretary of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Workers’ Union, told VOA Studio 7 that although the strike is continuing, some workers have decided to return to work in compliance with Labor Minister Prisca Mupfumira’s show cause order and the NRZ’s ultimatum issued last Thursday.

The parastatal said in the notice to return to work that it shall invoke appropriate provisions of the Labor Act, NRZ code of conduct as well as other applicable laws if the workers did not heed the call.

Nhemachena said workers will continue to fight for their rights despite minor setbacks they are currently facing.

Reacting to these reports, NRZ spokesman Fanuel Masikati refused to shed light on the issue and asked Studio 7 to call him Thursday for an update on the strike.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera, who is the director of the Centre for Disability and Development, said the continued strike by the NRZ workers has a serious impact on the country’s economy.