According to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) workers union, salary payments are always three weeks behind schedule at the struggling which has been earmarked for privatization in a bid to help turnaround its fortunes.
Further compounding the situation are the low monthly salaries with reports indicating that the lowest paid employee at NRZ earns US$125 per month – a figure that the workers union describes as a mockery against high basic monthly needs.
“Workers are suffering because they are not being paid their monthly salaries on time. The salaries are also low if we consider the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) which is about US$480,” says Gideon Shoko, the general secretary of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railways Workers Union (ZARWU)
“Workers cannot take that abuse anymore and we have given the management a seven day deadline to meet our demands or we down tools.
“We need salary increments that are in line with the PDL which is about US$480. The salary payments are always behind schedule. Instead of workers getting their salaries at the end of each month, they only get their salaries about three weeks later and that is a problem,” he said
Fanuel Masikati, the NRZ spokesperson could not be reached for comment. NRZ is engaged in a labour dispute with workers over salaries. NRZ appealed to the Labour Court against a ruling directing it to pay better salaries. The matter is still pending.