HomePoliticsRuinous bank strike averted

Ruinous bank strike averted

BANKS and their workers have reached a pay settlement to stop a potentially devastating financial services sector strike.

The Bank Employers Association and the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Union Association (Zibawu) on Tuesday agreed on a pay structure that would result in workers getting a “14th cheque”, according to workers representatives.
Zibawu’s strike notification expired yesterday, two days after a settlement had already been reached.
“A settlement has been reached and we have made communication to our members. Employers agreed to grant us a 14th cheque which means that our members will have two bonuses,” said Peter Mutasa, the Zibawu president.
Workers had demanded an 80% salary increment.
The compromise came after banks refused to give in to the salary demands, arguing that they were unsustainable for the sector.
Mutasa said that the employers and the union had agreed on one-off salary bargaining negotiations each year marking a shift from the quarterly salary submissions currently in place
Meanwhile, Air Zimbabwe has lost about US$1,8 million in potential revenue following the cancellation of four return flights because of a pilots strike.
Pilots stopped work on Wednesday demanding to be paid their outstanding allowances backdated to February last year.
The strike by 42 pilots has paralysed return flights for the airline’s lucrative Harare-London, Harare–Lubumbashi, Harare–Lusaka and Harare–Bulawayo routes.
The Harare–Johannesburg routes on Wednesday and yesterday was serviced by a Fokker 28 with a capacity of 70 people which Air Zimbabwe leased from Air Aquaria last month after its Modern Ark 60 (MA 60) went for a C-Check.
The national airline yesterday also sought to lease a Boeing 737 from Air Aquaria to service regional routes.
The potential revenue lost from these flights was US$1 779 832, according to information obtained from Air Zimbabwe sources who don’t want to be named.
These figures do not include meals that Air Zimbabwe had to pay to the stranded passengers and hotel bills for travellers who had to be booked at different hotels.
Air Zimbabwe CEO Peter Chikumba yesterday said negotiations were in progress, adding that he was hopeful an amicable agreement would be reached soon. But Jonathan Kadzura, Air Zimbabwe’s chairman told state television on Wednesday that the airline could not afford to pay the pilots. Even without the allowances, pilots were getting between US$1 200 and $2 509  a month.
The pilots are also supposed to get up to US$10 000 in monthly allowances before tax, according to Chikumba.


Paul Nyakazeya/Bernard Mpofu

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