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Ex-AirZim workers reject proposed 1-to1 Zimdollar payouts

FurtherAfricaHome AviationEx-AirZim workers reject proposed 1-to1 Zimdollar payoutsStaff by Staff May 3, 2021 Reading Time: 3 mins readAir Zimbabwe workers on unpaid leaveFormer Air Zimbabwe workers have vowed to fight against the payment of their salary arrears in local currency at a rate of US$1: ZW$1, arguing that the move is unconstitutional.The 300 ex-workers are owed salary arrears from the period of 2009 to 2015.They were thrown out of employment on the strength of the infamous July 2015 court ruling that allowed employers to terminate jobs on three months’ notice.The airline, which was struggling to pay full salaries and had resorted to part payments and giving out grocery hampers, took advantage of the ruling and effected job cuts on hundreds of it’s workers to stay afloat.AirZim’s finances have been in shambles for years allegedly because of mismanagement and corruption. Many of its planes were grounded due to old age.The national airline, entered external administration in 2018 as the government battled to protect it from creditors, who were owed US$341M. It sent out debt settlement proposals mid-April with administrator Grant Thornton undertaking to release payments in local currency once creditors signed off their papers.The basis of settling salary arrears in local currency stems from Statutory Instrument (SI)33 of 2019 and SI 142 of 2019, which converted all bank balances to Zimbabwe dollars at par with the greenback.This means creditors who were owed US$20k, for instance, would receive ZWL$20k, according to a payment plan confirmed by external administrators.But the Air Transport Union and National Airways Workers Union (ATUNAWN) vowed to fight to ensure that the affected workers are paid their dues in US dollars,the currency which was in use during the time of their employment at the airline.The union accused the administrator of trying to hoodwink the affected workers into signing papers that would approve the release of outstanding salaries in local currency.

Source: Further Africa

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