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Zambia Railways Limited, union talks in stalemate

ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) management and the Railways Workers Union of Zambia (RWUZ) have reached a stalemate in the negotiations for the 2017 collective agreement.
The workers have, however, received information about the deadlock with mixed feelings and those at ZRL main workshop in Kabwe on Friday downed tools in protest against the development.
Both ZRL chief executive officer Christopher Musonda and RWUZ general secretary Elias Mwila confirmed in separate interviews that a stalemate on the collective agreement was reached on January 10.
Mr Musonda, however, said it is premature for workers to down tools and protest over the outcome of the negotiations before they are briefed by the joint industrial council.
“What is happening there is premature. They should wait for a briefing on the outcome and we are starting on Monday,” Mr Musonda said.
He urged ZRL workers across the country to be calm and wait for official briefings instead of stopping work.
And Mr Mwila said the action by workers at the main workshop is illegal and he has urged them to resume work.
Mr Mwila said it is unfortunate that workers are protesting in reaction to the stalemate instead of waiting for the joint industrial council to give them a briefing on the negotiations.
“They are supposed to wait for the joint industrial council to come to their station,” Mr Mwila said. “What we have is a stalemate. In short, we have just reached a deadlock in our negotiations.”
A check at the main workshop in Kabwe established that employees had abandoned work and were seated outside in groups chatting.