Border Chaos As Zimra Workers Embark On Go Slow

The workers are pushing for a 29 percent salary increase. The minimum wage at Zimra is USD$200 a month while the Revenue Specialists earn USD$300 per month, amounts well under the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) of USD$545 and barely enough to buy basic food stuffs.
The workers who are not allowed by law to engage in an industrial action because of their strategic importance to the country are threatening to intensify the action. Zimra sources said at the weekend that workers have gone
on the low intensity strike to force management to review salaries as directed by the Labour Court.
“The Revenue Specialists or Officers based at the country’s ports of entry are on go slow. This is because the management is refusing to review salaries,” said a highly placed source.
“The Labour Court awarded the workers a 29 percent salary increament but the authorities are arguing that there is no money. ”
During a visit to the country’s busiest border post at Beitbridge on October 30 this reporter observed that only two Revenue Specialists were at work. It took them about four hours to clear five cross border buses and a couple of private vehicles.
“We have been here for four hours, the officers are on strike,”said a driver with Greyhound Company.
The workers have been mulling a strike action similar to the one that brought the country to a halt in 2007 in informal meetings that they have been holding despite a legal provision that stops them from doing so.
Zimra recently lost a three-year-long bid to block its workers from forming a trade union which will represent the workers interests. The union seeks to create a more transparent way of managing
relationships between the authority’s management and the close to 2500 Zimra workers.Currently the relationship is managed through a works council which the workers accuse of being ineffective and always succumbing to
bullying tactics by the management.
When contacted for a comment, a senior Zimra official said as far as he was concerned there was no strike but confirmed that there is an arbitration process currently underway between the workers and the authority.