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Striking NRZ workers give in, return to work

by Thobekile Zhou
16 Jun 2016 at 15:18hrs | Views
The striking National Railways of Zimbabwe workers are reluctantly returning to work  following a court judgement Wednesday ordering them so.

Bulawayo24.com is reliable informed that today the most determined groups in Harare and Gweru are making their resolutions on the outcome of the court judgement.

The court ruling  ordered them to  return to work within 48 hours.

They have been on strike for past 79 days.

" Indications are that the employees have resolved to retreat and report for duty in accordance with the court judgement. However the workers that had been targeted by Management of the NRZ have not been pardoned. The dismissal letters given to them selectively have not yet been withdrawn" said a source.

A total of 11 Workers in Gweru Dabuka were dismissed last week for having been absent for more than 7 days.

These included mostly Enginemen with the General Secretary for Railway Association of Engineers having been kicked out also.

In Bulawayo the Acting RAE President Janiel Manyere was fired also.

He has been acting since the termination of RAE President Honest Mudzete last year in line with the Supreme Court Ruling on The Zuva Case involving its two Management employees.

The judges decision was as follows:

1.The collective job action by the respondents be and is hereby declared illegal and should be terminated forthwith.

2. The applicant be and is hereby authorized not to pay any of the respondents their salaries and allowances for the period of 29th march 2016 to the date of termination of the the collective job action.

3. The applicant be and is hereby authorised to summarily dismiss any of the respondents who do not return to work within 48 hours of the service of the disposal order.

4. The disposal order shall be served on the respondents legal practitioner of record, i.e Mr M . Gwisai and service be and is hereby declared to be service on the respondents.

5. Each party shall bear its own costs.

Insiders said the  enginemen who last year lost most of its militant trade union officials, have now been left with no trade union since more than 2/3 of its senior executives have been dismissed.

Workers have been advocating for the National Striking Committee to be the official representative body of their rights and interests.

Some have been saying they preferred a situation where they operate under one workers representative board.

The Employees in National Railways who are under four trade unions, have since disowned their trade unions accusing them of not honestly and effectively representing their interests but those of management.

The workers blamed ZARWU officials for speaking controversial statements on studio 7 where it is said they seemed to accept that the NRZ have no money to pay the workers. " We fought a good war although we did not win the battle, it is unfortunate that we have to go under the yoke of slavery again until another jubilee trumpet blows," another worker said he was greatly disappointed by the court judgement as it clearly shows that the laws of the land have no feelings and concern for the workers rights.

The fate of the dismissed workers remain unresolved.

It is reported that in the satellite depots some Station Masters had spoken to some of the dismissed workers and told them to await further directives from the Employer.

Thousands of NRZ workers downed tools on the 29th of March this year after they had gone for 15 months salaries arrears and the little monies they were receiving in arrears which had been reduced from 80% of net salaries to amounts of $175.00 for lower grades ranging to$300.00 for Artisans and other higher grades were also not been deposited into their accounts for 3 months.

This resulted in banks deducting double loan and at times three times for unserviced loans given to the employees.

Any part banking by the NRZ was therefore not realized by the employees who had close to a thousand dollars negative balances in their accounts and serious rent arrears stretching to over 3 months due to inconsistent bankings and the 15 months salary arrears. While on strike the employees have not received a single cent even of the monies worked in 2014 leading to 16 months salaries arrears for all employees who participated in this job action.


Source - Byo24News

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