Home » General » Unpaid NRZ Workers Stage All Night Vigils

WORKERS at struggling state parastatal, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) staged a night vigil at the Bulawayo main railway station on Tuesday, in a bid to force management to pay their salaries.

About 30 workers braved the elements, choosing to sleep on the hard concrete in one of the many attempts aimed at attracting attention of management who have failed to pay them since May last year.

Last month the workers embarked on a nationwide strike demanding to be addressed by management.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Railway Association of Enginemen (RAE) vice-president Juniel Manyere said the workers would put up at the station offices until their grievances are addressed.

“I can confirm that some of our workers slept at the railway station,” said Manyere.

“We were promised that our salaries back dated to May last year will be paid by end of February but that never happened.

“Workers have seen it fit to just sleep at the station. We will do so until we are paid all our outstanding salaries.”

Manyere said workers in other provinces were expected to join the night vigils in their respective towns and cities.

“Surely, how does management expect us to report for duty daily when we are not paid? This is unfair. All we are constantly getting are promises which are never fulfilled,” Manyere lamented.

Efforts to get a comment from NRZ public relations manager Fanuel Masikati were unsuccessful as his mobile phone was not being answered.

NRZ acting General Manager, Lewis Mukwanda told a Parliamentary Portfolio on Transport and Infrastructural Development, during a tour in July last year that the parastatal owed workers more than $55 million in salary arrears.

“We owe our employees’ salaries of $55.8 million. What has been happening is that, over the years since 2009 as we dollarized, we have been paying at a period slightly longer than a month and over that period we have accumulated arrears,” Mukwanda was quoted as saying.

Business news agency, The Source, earlier this year revealed that NRZ is saddled with a $144 million debt raked up since dollarization in 2009 and registered a $17 million deficit in the first five months of 2014, generating $44 million revenue against $61 million expenditure.

Source : New Zimbabwe