Workers at the Kabwe Industrial fabrics company (KIFCO) have today boycotted work demanding the payment of six months’ arrears and the unpaid gratuity for three terms, from 2006 to 2012. Company chief operating officer Chabala Mutuna said he had no comment on the matter.
A check by the Zambian watchdog found workers seated outside the canteen while union and management officials were in a meeting. The workers crioed that the company had subjected them to untold misery as they have not been able to pay for their chilldren’s school fees and house rentals.
“We have been subjected to abject poverty, we are starving at home, our children cannot go to school, we can’t pay rentals… this is slavery in our own country, where are the labour inspectors in this country?” cried a worker who sought anonymity.
Union branch chairman Bennedict Kalulu confirmed in an interview that management had failed to pay the over 120 workers for the past six months.
“We all work on a two year contract, but have not been paid for 2006 to 2008, 2008 to 2010, 2010 to 2012, now we are entering the fourth term, so we have staged a protest until they address our concerns” said Kalulu.
Chief operating officer Chabala Mutuna confirmed the development but declined to comment on the matter saying he still had to consult with the board.