130 Atraco employees go on strike

KIGALI - Over 130 employees of International Express, a subsidiary of Atraco transporters, went on strike over unpaid salaries yesterday, leaving passengers stranded. Angry employees who included drivers, touts, cashiers and cleaners at the company’s parking yard, told The New Times they no longer had any money to support their families.
CONCERNED: Ludovic Dodo Twahirwa
CONCERNED: Ludovic Dodo Twahirwa

KIGALI - Over 130 employees of International Express, a subsidiary of Atraco transporters, went on strike over unpaid salaries yesterday, leaving passengers stranded.

Angry employees who included drivers, touts, cashiers and cleaners at the company’s parking yard, told The New Times they no longer had any money to support their families.

Jean Claude Birikunzira, a driver and a father of three, who was demanding Rwf 300,000 equivalent to 3 months pay, said he has “been patient enough,” and feels like the company is mistreating them.

“What makes things worse is they don’t tell us when they will pay,” Birikunzira said.

Jean Claude Mwitakuzi, another driver, said that he has not been paid for six months and has been depending on Rwf3000 he gets as daily allowances.

“This has been too much to contain, I doubt whether I will be paid what I’m owed,” Mwitakuzi said.

Speaking to The New Times, the head travel agency, Conrad Rutareka, said, “These first three months have not been profitable, we were operating in losses, some of our vehicles were also impounded by RURA” he said.

Rutareka added that during the month of February and March, travel agencies don’t make money because they are harvest seasons, whereby upcountry people don’t move a lot and students are in schools.

“We are trying our best to pay them at the end of March,” Rutareka added.

When contacted, Atraco president, Ludovic Twahirwa Dodo, said the salary arrears problem will resolved soon.

“We are working to settle the problem and very soon every employee will be paid,” he said.

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