Recently in the Central African Federation - the country's biggest African Trade Union - the Railway African Workers Union negotiated with the Rhodesian Railways Administration for the formation of a Statutory Advisory Council to arbitrate in Labour Disputes.
Recently in the Central African Federation - the country's biggest African Trade Union - the Railway African Workers Union negotiated with the Rhodesian Railways Administration for the formation of a Statutory Advisory Council to arbitrate in Labour Disputes. This was approved by the Federal Government and so the ??? became the first African Union to enjoy such a facility.
There has of late been much trouble in the Union itself with political manouvering unseating the old representatives. The last President was deposed because he went to England on the S.Rhodesian Constitutional Conference! This apparently is too much for the nationalistic African workers to stomach!
However, no sooner had the Council mentioned in the first paragraph been formed, than it successfully negotiated wage claims by the Union. The advances thus gained were misrepresented to the rank and file, by those whose business it is to cause dimension, who thought that they were getting the wrong end of the deal.
On Thursday (23rd March) a small group of Railway Workers came out on strike but returned to work. However on Friday morning the 24th of March a wildcat strike was called and the entire staff (African) in the Bulawayo - some 5,400 came out on strike. Concomitant on this state of affairs was the usual aspect of African good-fellowship, intimidation, assaults, minor storings, and strong arm pickets. The situation became ugly in the morning (see attached Newspaper). But after the strikers had called for negotiations with the Minister of Labour and appointed their own delegates (ignoring their self elected Union figureheads) peace returned, but the Police Riot Squads were standing by. The Minister - MR ABRAHAMSON arrived in Bulawayo at 9.20 pm and talked all through the night, eventually reaching agreement at 5.30 am on the morning of Saturday 25th March. At 8.30 am he addressed the strikers telling them that agreement had been reached, and their own delegates and the General Manager of the Rhodesian Railways also confirmed this. The Minister is as popular amongst the Africans as it is possible for a European to be, and there were no Police in evidence at the meeting (unlike the previous day) - and the Strikers were apparently placated. However a little down the Road in the Police Camp and Bulawayo Drill Hall, Police and Reservists stood by in some members ready for anything. The strike underline the uneasy atmosphere currently in S.Rhodesian Affairs.