TDRC workers on go-slow, lock up offices

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—Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) workers in Ndola today have commenced a go-slow and locked up offices denying other workers who share the building with them entry demanding improved salaries and conditions of service from government.

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A check by ZANIS found workers outside the offices with placards denouncing TDRC management, whom they accused of not being in the office most of the time as they were allowances and flights to unknown destinations.

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Workers at the Copperbelt University under the School of Medicine, who share the same floor with TDRC, have had no access to the offices due to the action by TDRC unionised workers.

University of Zambia and Allied Workers Union of Zambia TDRC Branch chairperson, Allan Chonde, who spoke on behalf of other workers, told ZANIS that they will continue with the go-slow until their demands are met by government.

Mr Chonde said because of the prevailing poor working conditions at TDRC, qualified man power was being lost as they opted to go for greener pastures.

He said office will remain closed until their demands for improved salaries and working conditions are met.

He explained that TDRC is a grant-aided institution which is under-funded adding that the funds received do not reach the wage bill.

Mr Chonde said in 2012, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) and the Ministry of Health advised TDRC that government’s policy was to harmonise salaries for all public workers.

He added that as TDRC unionised workers they were happy with the development which went on well but that they were surprised to note that TDRC management had continued with the old salaries to date.

Mr Chonde said TDRC unionised workers wrote to management to give them an ultimatum to pay them harmonised salaries by March 21, 2013 but that nothing has been done, hence the go-slow.

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