By Farai Matiashe
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) staff yesterday reportedly downed tools over poor working conditions.
According to sources, the workers were gathered in the committee room at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport from 10 am to 5pm, but management refused to address them, only speaking to them through the workers committee.
Learnmore Maranda, national workers committee chairman referred all questions to management, but CAAZ spokesperson Anna Hungwe denied that the staff had downed tools.
“There is nothing like that. Of course, we had a normal meeting like any other company, but all of our staff reported for duty today (yesterday),” she said.
But sources said Hungwe was part of the meeting between the workers committee and management which continuously referred issues to the parent ministry, the Ministry of Transport headed by Biggie Matiza, who is still to appoint a board for the parastatal.
“We are staging a sit-in, demanding long overdue issues to be addressed by the management and the minister,” one worker said.
“The agreed cost of living adjustment starting from March has not been implemented after executive management included, were trying to ride on employee agreements.”
He said they were incapacitated because the cost of living has been going up for the past months, particularly the cost of commuting to work.
“We can no longer afford to come to work due to high transport costs. We want the human resources director, who is doubling as the acting director-general to go. She has failed us. She is practising nepotism, where she employs her colleagues and relatives,” said the employee.
Another employee told NewsDay that the workers’ committee held a meeting with management to find a way forward.
“Controllers, aviation security, fireman and generality of staff are threatening to close down the airports if the issues at hand are not addressed. Other grievances include the cutting of employees’ bonuses and late payment of those bonuses,” she said.
“There is also the issue of victimisation, where the company retrenched six employees last year after the employees had won their case in court.”