In Salisbury, Rhodesia, 20 African bus drivers have been fined the equivalent of GBP 36 sterling (60 dollars US) for taking part in a bus strike on Christmas Eye (24 December).
In Salisbury, Rhodesia, 20 African bus drivers have been fined the equivalent of GBP 36 sterling (60 dollars US) for taking part in a bus strike on Christmas Eye (24 December). Police acted swiftly, arresting the strikers as soon as they stopped work.
SYNOPSIS: The drivers fined were among 800 drivers, conductors and maintenance workers who went on the strike to demand a bigger Christmas bonus. Their action has kept the city without public transport for six days,mainly affecting the black population. All the men were kept in jail over the Christmas weekend, and the other 780 were due to be dealt with afterwards.
A large crowd of relatives and friends of the 20 men who appeared in court gathered outside the court building on Tuesday (28 December) to cheer them. The men were arrested soon after the strike began and held in Chikurubi Prison. They were arrested under terms of the Emergency Powers Act which caters for strikes affecting essential or public services.
The strikers wanted a Christmas bonus equal to a month's pay, but the bus company rejected their claim saying bonuses would be pegged at the previous year's figure, with a maximum bonus of GBP 11 Sterling (19 dollars US).
The other 780 men arrested face similar charges to those already fined. It was expected they would be asked to sign admissions of guilt - which means they would not have to appear in court - and be given the same fine. The drivers have been given until the end of January to pay their GBP 36 penalties.