Just over two weeks after resolving a pilots strike with with a US$3 million government bailout, Air Zimbabwe has failed to pay employees their full monthly salaries, potentially sparking another labor crisis and demand for costly government intervention.
Sources said employees on Thursday demanded to meet with airline management and directors after staff received only half of what was due them in April compensation
But only junior managers attended the meeting, telling workers that the airline cannot pay full salaries because it is broke. They said Air Zimbabwe's cash-flow problems were worsened by the recent month-long strike by pilots, engineers and cabin crew.
Air Zimbabwe Chairman Jonathan Kadzura declined to comment. Workers said they will hold another meeting tomorrow to decide how to proceed in the new crisis.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo said the government needs to seriously consider privatizing a range of parastatals including the carrier so that state enterprises will no longer be a drain on the Treasury.
Economist Eric Bloch said the government will end up bailing out Air Zimbabwe again as it does not have the capacity to generate enough cash to meet operating costs.