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NRZ in cash squeeze

Loughty Dube

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has for the second month running failed to pay its workers on time as its cash crisis deepens.

ica, sans-serif”>Workers at the parastatal were supposed to be paid their May wages last Friday but the NRZ, in a special notice sent to workers, acknowledged that it was facing cash flow problems.

Workers at the parastatal are however seething with anger over the late payment of their wages. The NRZ, with a workforce of 9 000, says the wages payments will be staggered starting this week.

The NRZ is reeling under a huge wage bill estimated to be over $12 billion as a result of massive wages increments and the award of a hefty cost of living adjustment to workers at the beginning of this year.

“It is with regret that the administration has to advise that due to our current cash flow problems the railways is unable to meet the pay out dates of 28 and 31 May 2004,” says the notice signed by NRZ acting general manager, Lewis Mugwada.

“Accordingly, the May, 2004 payroll will only be disbursed on a staggered basis with effect from 4 June, 2004.”

New wage and salary awards by the NRZ have seen the lowest paid workers in the Grade 11 category getting between $1, 4 and $ 1,6 million while those in white collar jobs and artisans receive up to $6 million per month.

Workers in middle management are earning well over $5 million while senior managers are taking home over $15 million per month.

Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railways Union secretary-general Gideon Shoko said the workers were demoralised by the move but would wait for Friday (today) before taking any action.

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