Zambia Railways Strikes Over Terminal Benefits

Zambia Railways Limited workers yesterday staged a strike in protest against non-payment of terminal benefits that fell due after government’s cancellation of RSZ’s concession.

Operations were grounded, leaving passengers stranded.

The workers want government to pay them their Railway Systems of Zambia terminal benefits, amounting to about K27 million, which should have been paid at the time of cancellation of the company’s concession.

A check at the Lusaka Main Station yesterday morning found workers camped outside the offices, chanting anti-government slogans.

They displayed placards, disparaging the government’s “non-action” on the matter.

Some of the placards read “Mukanga atikanga”, “tipase ndalama; sindalama zanyoko.”

The workers said it was shocking that the government was finding resources for by-elections but claiming there was no money to pay the 840 workers their terminal benefits following the repossession of the company from RSZ.

“Only K27 million is owed to the workers in terms of terminal benefits. Whether they have money or they don’t have money, they will pay us. They have to look for the money,” said Railway Workers Union of Zambia secretary general Elias Mwila. “The workers have not been paid their separation packages by the Zambian government after the cancellation of the concession from the Railway Systems of Zambia. This is three years now. Many workers have retired, died or resigned without being paid their terminal benefits. More are now joining the queue of those going home without the terminal benefits being paid. Workers have resolved not to work until the money is paid by the government. All workers, from Livingstone to Kabwe, including Chipata and Muchinji, have downed tools.”

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Source: Zambia Reports

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