Over 300 workers at Cargill Cotton Company in Chipata this morning downed tools in protest against a 25 per cent salary increment offered by management.
A check by Breeze News this morning at the ginnery found that the workers refused to take up their shifts resulting in operations grinding to a halt.
The angry workers said no one will be allowed to enter the plant until management increase their salaries with immediate effect.
Speaking to Breeze News, one of the workers who refused to be named in fear of victimisation said workers are demanding to be given a minimum wage of 1.2 million Kwacha as a government requirement.
He explained that workers have been getting 422, 000 Kwacha per month and that the 25 per cent salary increment is not enough because it only translates to an increment of 100,000 Kwacha.
Meanwhile the irate workers walked for about four kilometres from their offices to the provincial administration to seek government intervention in the industrial dispute.
Police had to block some of the workers from reaching the provincial administration while only a selected few were given a go ahead.
By about 12:30 hours, Eastern Province permanent secretary, Hlobotha Nkhunika who earlier held a meeting with Cargill management and representatives for the workers was addressing the rest of the selected workers