By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
16 July 2014
Striking Chitungwiza council workers on Wednesday refuted media reports that they had returned to work.
Reports said the employees on Tuesday called off their week-long wage strike following the intervention of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche last Friday.
However Arthur Taderera, director of the Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association, said the workers approached them on Tuesday night and told them they are being victimised to go back to work.
‘Some representatives from the workers union visited us last night (Tuesday) and denied reports that they have agreed to resume their duties. They told us they will only go back to work when they get paid their outstanding salaries,’ Taderera said.
The week long industrial action has paralysed service delivery in the dormitory town including council-run health centres and garbage collection.
Taderera said it has since emerged that a letter, purportedly written by Goche last week Friday ordering the protesting workers to go back to work within 24 hours or face legal action, was a fake.
‘We are told the Minister has disowned the letter, arguing that he could not have authored it since he was in Victoria Falls on business,’ added Taderera.
The workers, in response to the ‘letter’ from Goche, had approached the courts to issue a writ against the town clerk to show cause why he should not pay within 24 hours.
‘Until the town clerk explains his position, the workers have vowed that they will not return to work. They argue that it’s been a year since they received their salaries, so they have had a long time to work out a plan to pay them,’ said Taderera