Train drivers at the National Railways of Zimbabwe(NRZ) have called off their month-long industrial action over safety concerns following installation of safety devices on the parastatal’s 30 locomotives.
Last month, 460 drivers and their assistants embarked on a go-slow demanding among others, installation of safety devices and payment of their outstanding salaries.
Railways Association of Engineers (RAE) president Norman Simba told NewsDay on Thursday:
“After a string of media reports on NRZ’s disarray infrastructure and locomotive, the parastatal has at least tried to react on such issues and as we speak, all the locomotives have been fitted with Tom Tom speedometers.
“Even on salaries, they have improved now because they are now left with outstanding salaries for one month.”
The drivers had cited lack of speedometers, vigilance units, doors and window seals, gauge or cab lights, hand brakes, sanders, fire extinguishers and snubbers on most of the NRZ’s locomotives.
They also complained of non-working radio communicators, window wipers and scratched windscreens which made visibility impossible.
Simba said the parastatal had rehabilitated locomotive toilets, fitted fire extinguishers and repaired cracked windowpanes, window wipers and new heaters and plates.
Simba said the only remaining problem was that drivers are still owed between $4 000 and $8 000 each in allowance arrears dating back to February 2009.
NRZ spokesperson, Fanuel Masikati confirmed the development on Thursday.
“We are really trying to address all issues affecting workers. I confirm that rehabilitation programmes are ongoing. We will also address the issues of allowances they are complaining about. It is normal that if an organisation has a number of challenges it cannot address them at once and that is what we are doing,” said Masikati.