SIX Zampost workers were yesterday arrested for conduct likely to cause breach of the peace after they withdrew labour and disrupted operations at the main Post Office in Luska, Lusaka Province police commissioner Charity Katanga has confirmed.
Those who were arrested were two women and four men, who were aggrieved that management had placed some permanent workers on contracts and was deducting K500 from their salaries without their consent.
“Management wants to move permanent employees to low-cost contracts because the company has no money,” said an employee.
The workers were also protesting over unpaid allowances, while others are retrenchees who are discontented with their retrenchment packages.
The six workers were among other employees who carried placards and were chanting slogans against management for alleged meagre retrenchment packages and salary deductions.
The workers were bundled in police vans by officers from Lusaka Central Police, who called the protest illegal. The arrested workers were later released on police bond.
Lemmy Kapandula, a post officer, said the workers were protesting because some had been retrenched and only paid about 10 percent of what was due to them.
Mr Kapandula said the workers are also aggrieved that management had started deducting K500 from the salaries of 1,000 workers across the country without their consent.
Zampost area manager for Lusaka Henry Zimba confirmed in a telephone interview that six workers were arrested after they disrupted business at Post Office over unpaid allowances.
Mr Zimba, however, said the protest was called off after the workers met management and reached an agreement over their grievances.
“The workers who have been retrenched have also been told that their packages will be paid in phases and they have agreed to it,” he said.
The National Union for Communication Workers (NUCW) expressed disappointment at the action of their members.
NUCW national vice chairperson Scrivener Peleka said he was shocked to learn of the protest, which he noted had no blessings of the union.
Union president Reuben Kayombo said the new conditions of service were explained to all employees and that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security had given approval, prior to implementation.
Mr Kayombo said some permanent workers have been placed on low-cost contracts due to financial challenges the company is facing.
He said workers who caused a breach of the peace at the Post Office will undergo disciplinary action as stipulated by the union’s code.