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AirZim pilots’ strike continues


Ongoing talks between striking Air Zimbabwe pilots and management remain deadlocked yesterday while a number of regional and all international flights remain suspended.

Despite a 24-hour ultimatum issued on Thursday night for the pilots to return to work or face dismissal, the pilots have remained defiant.

The strike began on Wednesday last week.
Contacted for comment last night the national carrier’s chief executive officer Peter Chikumba declined to shed light on the ongoing impasse.

“There are no new developments,” that’s all Chikumba could say.

However in a statement, Chikumba said management was continuing to negotiate with the pilots in order to quickly restore normal service at the airline.

“Flights to Lusaka, Lubumbashi and all international flights remain suspended until further notice,” Chikumba said.

“Meanwhile, management is continuing to negotiate with the pilots in order to quickly restore normal services. Once again we sincerely apologise for the unseen disruption and request your patience whilst we make every effort to resolve the impasse. ”

Air Zimbabwe said it would continue to offer rescheduled services to Harare-Johannesburg, Harare-Bulawayo and Harare-Victoria Falls.

But Air Zimbabwe board chairman Jonathan Kadzura was at the weekend adamant that the strike was unprocedural.

Kadzura told the media that it was sad that pilots do not seem to appreciate that the average salary in the economy was $260 and $300.

“I do not understand why only them, and not cleaners, engineers and all other people have decided to go on strike,” Kadzura said.

There was chaos at Harare International Airport as the strike began on Wednesday, leaving hundreds of travellers stranded.

Junior pilots on Friday said they were prepared to be fired than return to work without their demands being met.

Senior pilots, however, have succumbed to pressure and agreed to go back to work following threats of dismissal by the Air Zimbabwe board on Thursday.

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