Itezhi-tezhi High School construction workers yesterday staged a protest at the Itezhi-tezhi District Commissioner’s office over alleged beatings and other bad conditions which a Chinese company has subjected them to.
More than twentymarched ,amid grumbling ,to the District Commissioner’s home where they were advised to go the office where the Acting DC Hampende Hichilema would address them ten minutes later.
Ndonji Crispin who spoke on behalf of the construction workers complained about the ill-treatment by the Hua Tiang, a Chinese company which has been awarded the contract to finish phase two of Itezhi-tezhi High school.
“The Chinese supervising us at theare beating us with sticks and make us work through out the week without resting, we report at 07:00 and knock off around 18:00 hours”
He said that when workers complain of over working them, they are insulted and told to leave their jobs because they claim that they can bring people from china to do the same job.
“We are working like slaves or foreigners in our own country, we do not have protective shoes, and they bought us canvasses instead of boots which were recommended by the inspectors”, he said.
Mr. Ndonji said that when the company gives them protective clothing such as overalls, their NRCs are grabbed from them, a situation which makes it difficult for them to accesses some services such as getting money from banks or the post office.
He said that the Chinese contractors do not recognize sick leave and do not care whether someone falls sick during the course of their duty.
‘When a worker falls sick, they just say go to the hospital, they do not help anything and more over they deduct the days you will be sick” he said.
He further said that the workers have been subjected to extremely low wages of K7, 000 per day adding that they are subjected to inhumane and demeaning treatment.
He complained that the workers are made to heap 100 wheelbarrows of crashed stone every day.
Meanwhile Itezhi-tezhi District Commissioner Hampende Hichilema has assured the construction workers that his office would engage the Chinese company on matters they raised.
He said that his office would call the management on Tuesda