Air Zimbabwe pilots 'face dismissal' over pay strike

Friday, September 10, 2010

An Air Zimbabwe Boeing 737 at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

Striking pilots at Air Zimbabwe have been told that they could lose their jobs if they don't return to work. The pilots are currently on the third day of striking over a pay dispute. Their wage is currently $2,500 a month, but the pilots are currently receiving just $1,200.

Jonathan Kadzura, board chairperson for Air Zimbabwe released a statement saying "The board and management have resolved to give them a 24-hour notice to go back to work. It must be understood clearly that the industrial action is illegal and if they do not go back to work inside the 24 hours, legal and disciplinary action will be taken." He added that "Government does not have any money".

Air Zimbabwe can't afford to pay the airliner's force of 60 pilots their full wage but has promised to make up all back-pay.

In the time that the staff have been striking Air Zimbabwe been forced to use pilots from private South African airline Quaries to cover local routes. The strike has cost the company around $500,000.