NRZ workers on Tuesday began a strike action to press for better pay, allowances and outstanding salaries dating back to 2009 after the adoption of the multi-currency regime.
The strike action, which entered its fifth day on Friday, drew the whole NRZ workforce affiliated to the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Workers’ Union, Railway Association of Yard Operating Staff, Zimbabwe Railways Artisans’ Union and Railways Association of Engineering.
Karakadzai said the strike was costing the troubled parastatal over 15 000 tonnes of unmoved cargo business per day, translating to US$1 million in lost revenue daily.
“In terms of tonnage, we are losing about 33 000 tonnes of traffic that should have been moved and that translates to about US$2 million in two days since workers went on strike on Tuesday,” Karakadzai said after a crisis meeting held at the NRZ headquarters.
He said, inasmuch as the company wanted to pay workers their outstanding pay and to meet their salary demands, the parastatal could not afford as it was incurring a US$3million loss every month. He appealed to workers to return to wo
rk while negotiations were being held.
Karakadzai said NRZ would sink if it tried to meet workers’ salary demands.
“On average per day, NRZ makes about US$225 000, translating to about US$7million in a month against monthly expenditure of about US$10,5 million for fuel, salaries and spare parts,” he said.
The NRZ boss said the company was overstaffed and there was need to retrench some workers to cut costs.