TAZARA signs pact on parity adjustment

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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is delighted to announce that an agreement with the Trade Unions representing the workers has been reached to adjust the salary exchange rates in Tanzania and Zambia, with effect from 1st March 2017.

The consensus was mutually agreed upon between the Management and all the four Trade Unions of TAZARA at meetings held on 24th and 27th February 2017.

The negotiations had been going on for a month.

Under the Agreement, which forms an addendum to the 2015-2017 Collective Agreement between the Management of TAZARA and its four Trade Unions, the Authority will adjust the exchange rates upon which the salaries are based upwards, to achieve parity of remunerations between the workers of the two regions of Tanzania and Zambia.

Stability

Speaking after signing the Agreement, the Deputy Managing Director, Dr Betram Kiswaga, said that it was gratifying to note that the atmosphere that existed during the negotiations reflected the desire by both parties to maintain stability in the institution.

“We have achieved some positive milestones in our operations in the recent past and it is very encouraging to note that both parties are determined to keep the momentum going through stability and continuity,” said Dr Kiswaga.

“It makes very good business sense that we strive to maintain stability at this stage when our customers are showing renewed confidence in our operations,” he said.

Background

In order to achieve parity between the remunerations of workers in Tanzania and Zambia, the salaries are denominated in United States Dollars, but paid in local currencies at exchange rates that are agreed upon with the unions periodically.

Over the years, the local currencies had depreciated significantly against the Dollar, but the exchange rates could not be adjusted proportionately due to liquidity challenges, which the Authority had been facing.

The workers of TAZARA are represented by four trade unions, with the Tanzania Railway Workers Union (TRAWU) and the TAZARA Workers Union – Tanzania (TAWUTA) representing workers in Tanzania, while the Crews and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CRAWUZ) and the Workers Union of TAZARA (WUTAZ) represented workers in Zambia.

In January 2017, the unionized workers in Zambia staged a weeklong work stoppage to press for the adjustment of the salary exchange rates.

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