Government panics after Zambia Railways strike, as HR director brings ‘public order act’ to company

The country wide strike action by Zambia Railways workers over their unpaid dues amounting to over K27m has sent government into panic and a meeting with Railway workers’ union of Zambia has been set for this afternoon.

Ministry of transport and communication sources have disclosed that there is going to be a tripartite meeting with finance ministry and the union because government fears that the action will spread to other government departments which are equally financially hit. The railway workers have vowed not to return to work until their demands are met in full.

“You know a number of parastatal companies and government departments also owe people some money and now they fear that the railways strike would spark a series of countrywide strikes so they want to quench it as quickly as possible but the problem is that there is no money,” said the source.

And yesterday, Zambia Railways director human resources Chris Musonda barred union officials from meeting their members demanding that they need to notify the chief executive officer in advance before the meeting. But this is in contradiction with the principles of collective bargaining and unionism which allows the union leaders to freely meet their members at their places of work.

Musonda’s action is partly blamed as the cause of today’s industrial unrest.

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