HARARE – The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has been hit by a fresh wave of salary disputes amid payment delays on ordinary workers against hefty perks being afforded to company bosses.
Ordinary workers, according to inside sources, are up in arms with the company for lavishing their bosses with the lion’s share of a monthly wage budget of US$320,000 for its 250 employees.
The gaping wage disparities between Air Controllers with just ‘A’ level qualifications and those with university degrees has also fuelled the disharmony after it emerged the former were being paid higher wages than their more qualified counterparts.
‘A’ level graduates are reportedly pocketing US$2,000 while middle level employees with degrees and even higher qualifications were earning salaries ranging from US$400-US$500 a month.
To add insult to injury, CAAZ director Blessing Ngwarati reportedly took a three-month trip to China where he was receiving daily allowances of US$250 while the salary crisis raged back home.
The company boss is also accused of squandering undisclosed amounts of money in the name of purchasing a radar.
Meanwhile, the CAAZ public relations department released a statement seemingly repudiating the allegations.
“The Authority is paying employees in the specific month on a month-to-month basis. Management engages its employees through Works Council meetings to discuss issues of mutual interest.
“CAAZ has defined salary structures per each grade and that forms the basis of an employee’s salary. The grades were a result of job evaluation.
“The Authority procured ATC Communication Systems from China. These systems were subject to contractual Factory Acceptance Testing which resulted in a delegation traveling to China on the official government approved trip.
“The ATC Communication Systems are now ready for shipment and the project will be completed in early 2023,” read the statement.
Wage disputes are however not new at the government department.
In 2019, CAAZ workers temporarily downed their tools over unpaid wages and poor working conditions.