Neno District Council industrial staff on Wednesday sealed off the district council complex, demanding their unpaid three-month salaries and six-month salary arrears.
One of the staff, Patrick Kabuthu, who is also a senior security guard, said they engaged the council secretariat on the issue, but nothing positive came out.
“We have decided to seal the offices to push them to give us our salaries and arrears and that is the only time we will go back to work,” he said.
Kabuthu said the staff has been going to work hungry as they cannot make ends meet without their salaries.
He said this is in contrast with demands of his job as a security guard which requires fitness, saying that he cannot be fit without food.
Neno District Council director of administration Alexious Chipendo said he was aware of the development.
“It is a fact that we have not paid them for three months, but the unfortunate part is that they presented the issue through anonymous letters. Therefore, it is hard to address the unknown,” he said.
Chipendo said the council advised the staff to follow the right channels of presenting their concerns, adding that they opened the gates as requested.
He said the council was failing to generate enough revenue to sustain its services and pay staff.
“The wage bill for the council staff is about K1.8 million [per month], but for three consecutive months, we have been able to collect just K800 000 which is not enough,” said Chipendo. n