Police tear gas striking Sino Hydro workers

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Riot  Police have used tear gas  to disperse  protesting Sino  Hydro  workers who  are constructing  the 120 mega-watt hydro power station in Itezhi Tezhi.


Police have also detained five of the protesting workers in a work stoppage that started yesterday.


ZANIS reports that Police stepped in when more than 400 casual workers gathered at the newly constructed U$5 million water and sewerage facility to express their displeasure over non implementation of wage hikes agreed upon last year.


Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner George Sichula confirmed the strike that started yesterday.


 “We a have tried to reason with Management and asked them why they have failed to increase wages as agreed upon but they could not give us any answer. We have been left with no option but to strike until they honour the promise.” Mr. Glad Sikaumbu, National Union of Building and Construction workers (NUBEC) Itezhi Tezhi District Branch Chairperson said.


 Mr Sikaumbu said it was unfortunate that management had failed to increase their wages which has led to another work stoppage that will further delay the project.


“We will not go back until they assure us that they will implement the resolutions,” said Mr Sikaumbu.


Meanwhile, Sino Hydro Commercial Manager a Mr Zhijun said the company could not increase the wages because they have not been funded by the Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation (ITPC) who are their employers.


 Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner  George Sichula also condemned the striking Sino Hydro workers adding that he was disappointed that they decided to politicize the strike by chanting pro- UPND slogans.