African Press International (API)

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Zambia’s customs workers on strike

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2007

Lusaka (Zambia) Hundreds of Zambia’s customs workers have gone on a nationwide strike to demand improved working conditions, including better salaries, from the government.

The move by the state workers at the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has paralysed operations at most border points, where the ZRA has posts to check goods going into and out of the country.

The workers say they would not resume work until they are paid a salary increase of one million kwacha (US$ 240) each.

The workers have been threatening to take industrial action since last week if a solution to their demands is not found soon.

After days of waiting, however, the workers said they have decided to take the action because nothing has been forthcoming from the ZRA management.

The workers complained that the ZRA collects billions of kwacha in revenue annually for the government and yet they have continued to suffer poor working conditions.

The action has sparked fears that the border points around the country would soon become congested.

Landlocked Zambia depends on several border points with neighbouring countries, especially Zimbabwe which is the gateway to South Africa, a major trading partner, and the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a major buyer of Zambian goods.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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