OVER 100 former National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) employees, retrenched following the July 17 Supreme Court 2015 ruling besieged the company’s headquarters in Bulawayo on Tuesday to push management to settle their outstanding benefits.
BY SILAS NKALA
The ruling gave employers permission to offload workers on three months’ notice, leading to an unprecedented job haemorrhage in the country’s struggling economy.
The former workers confronted the human resources officer demanding clarification over their payments which they claimed were not documented.
A former engine man, Anderson Manyora, said since 2015, NRZ had been paying their salaries, but not their outstanding leave days and terminal benefits as required by law.
“They said they will be paying us 60% of what we’re getting per month while at work until they finish paying us.
“This condition has been imposed on us, that is why we have come here to demand our outstanding terminal benefits and leave pay. Further to that, our money is just banked into our accounts and we are not given payslips, there is no documentation as to what we are supposed to get in total,” Manyora said.
“We want them to pay us all our money so that we part ways. Each time we complain, we see money in our accounts which means they might owe us huge amounts.”
Bray Simbarashe Mudavanhu, another former employee, said following the Supreme Court ruling, NRZ offloaded over 400 workers and promised to pay them their dues.
“NRZ was supposed to have given us termination packages at the stipulated period, which they have ignored or failed to pay to date.
“We have written agreements with them on the payments, but they keep on shifting the goal posts, hence we decided to confront them over the delay to pay us,” Mudavanhu said.
The former employees said they were owed between $5 000 and $20 000 each depending on their grades.
Emboyara Mathe said: “We are in serious arrears as our bills are ballooning. We even fear to open the bills as some of us now owe service providers over $600.”
Contacted for comment NRZ spokesperson Nyasha Maravanyika confirmed that the former workers visited their offices.
“It is true that they came and raised those issues. But the other issue is that the human resources officer sat with them and addressed their concerns. They put in place measures that will see them meet to further address the issues of quantification which they complained about. I believe they will have their figures divulged during those meetings. There is some progress on that issue and they should not worry,” he said.