NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe
UNIONISED workers at the Copperbelt Solid Waste Management (COPWASTE) in Kitwe yesterday locked up offices for management staff in protest against delayed payment of their salary arrears.
The irate workers, who have down-tooled, claim management has not paid them their salaries for five months and have vowed not to go back to work until management fulfils its obligation.
But management has said the company is unable to sustain its operations because of dilapidated equipment.
A check by the Daily Mail found the offices locked and a survey in the townships revealed uncollected heaps of garbage at entrances of most residences.
Zambia Union Local Authorities (ZULAWU) branch chairperson Jathel Simwinga said in an interview that the workers locked the offices so that they could get management’s attention on the matter.
Mr Simwinga appealed to Government to intervene in the matter.
“We have not received our salaries for five months now and this is our sixth month. We have locked the offices so that management can give us the attention that we desire,” he said.
COPWASTE public relations manager Rebecca Chiwale said the institution is unable to sustain its operations because of its dilapidated equipment.
“Yes, we are owing the workers salaries for five months. We should not only talk about the salaries but we should also look at replacing the equipment that we have, which is dilapidated. This will help us to improve our operations,” Ms Chiwala said.
By press time, the offices were still locked as management waited for Copperbelt permanent secretary Elias Kamanga to hold a meeting with them.