Shorprite workers have expressed shock at government's pro-management stance during the standoff that has entered day three of the strike.
The workers who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were surprised that government ministers were more vocal in silencing them and urging them to go back to work than even the management.
"We are wondering why government ministers especially the Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda and his deputy Leornard Chitotela, their language has been that we should go back to work and our grievances will be addressed," said the source.
"When we first went on strike the first day Mr Shamenda said let the workers go back to work surely a minister of Labour before hearing us out orders us back to work? We are left wondering what the investors give them to win their support."
The source added: "In Kitwe Mr Chitotela was pleading with us to go back for work like he had a gun to his head and that like if we did not go back to work there would be a problem with his ministry. What we are demanding is the more money that the minister and his government promised so why are they siding with the oppressive investor?"
Shoprite workers have been on strike for three days now and have vowed not to go back for work unless their demands are met.
They are demanding a wage that meets the statutory K1, 100 minimum wage for shop workers as announced by government.