18 July 2014

Zimbabwe: No Solution in Sight for Striking Chitungwiza Council Workers

Workers on strike at Chitungwiza town council have rejected management's latest offer to return to work in an ongoing labour dispute that has crippled all its operations.

The full blown work stoppage has stretched into the second week as both sides have failed to reach an agreement. On Friday workers representatives claimed that a High court Judge has ruled in their favour to strike, considering that they've not been paid for almost 14 months.

Arthur Taderera, director of the Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association, told SW Radio Africa they rejected management's latest offer, which included listening to their grievances if they returned to work.

'I think it just shows you the type of leadership you have in the council. These workers have not had a salary for over a year and management acts if as they didn't know about it,' Taderera said.

Taderera added that council workers had wanted to settle the dispute for a long time, but management and the local government ministry were not listening to their concerns.

'There is a lack leadership at the council. Instead of taking charge of the situation, they let it slide out of control to a point where it's now virtually impossible to correct the situation,' he said.

The strike has raised political temperatures in the dormitory town, which is drowning under waste owing to the non-existence of refuse and garbage collection.

Waste paper litters the streets and broken sewage pipes are unrepaired. A serious health hazard is being created as raw sewage is flowing in some streets.

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