Gwanda Municipality workers yesterday downed tools in protest against non-payment of part of their salaries for the past three months.
Over 40 workers gathered outside the municipal building carrying placards and demanding immediate payment of their outstanding salaries.
Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers’ Union secretary for Gwanda, Bernard Mkhwananzi, said the workers resorted to strike action after management allegedly ignored them.
“We are here to demand the full payment of our salaries for March, April and May,” he said in an interview.
“The council has long ignored our calls for our salaries and now we have no choice other than to down tools and confront them. We are hungry and tired of working for no pay. They should give us our salaries today.”
Mkhwananzi said the local authority had assured them they would receive their full salaries by yesterday, but were taken aback after they only received outstanding salaries for March.
“They had told us that by today we would have been paid our full salaries, but we are still waiting,” he said.
“Our children are suffering because of the cold weather as we cannot afford warm clothing. We are hungry and will not tolerate this unfair treatment.”
Acting Gwanda mayor Thoko Sibanda, however, told NewsDay the workers received their March salaries on Tuesday and those for April yesterday.
“The workers are on strike, but we have already paid them their March salaries and we are paying them their April salaries today (yesterday),” she said.
“We are trying our best to pay them their May salaries, but we do not have the money to do so. We are planning on seeking funds elsewhere such as through donors and loans but we will pay them the May salary soon.”
Sibanda said the salary dispute had been referred to the Labour Court and was to be settled at a meeting later yesterday.