via Mars workers strike – DailyNews Live by Bryn Gumbo 24 SEPTEMBER 2013
Medical Air Rescue Service (Mars) workers have downed tools countrywide in protest against management that has allegedly failed to address a salary dispute that has gone on for over three years.
Mars is one of the biggest ambulance service healthcare organisations in Zimbabwe.
The company, chaired by Zack Wazara, has hit a rough patch and early this year was placed under judicial management under the care of Christopher Maswi, whom the employees have passed a vote of no confidence.
Efforts to obtain comment from Wazara were futile yesterday.
Aiden Katapa, Mars workers committee chairperson, told the Daily News that workers countrywide have resorted to a sit-in in protest against Maswi, whom they accused of having worsened their plight.
“Maswi has failed us as workers,” Katapa said. “Instead, he has worsened our plight. Our salary issue has not been addressed so far and we are still earning peanuts.”
The workers, who were visibly angry and gathered at the company headquarters in Fairbridge Avenues, Harare, allege that Maswi had sidelined them worsening their plight.
They said they were not receiving their salaries in full for some time now.
Disgruntled workers initially marched into the city centre last Friday demanding the ouster of Maswi whom they allege has shown them “hell on earth”.
The workers said they were finding it difficult to survive after rendering their service to a company that is not paying them their dues.
“We are going to continue seating like this if Maswi is not out of the office,” said one angry worker. “It is very unfortunate that our action will affect the nation.
“We have been lenient for over three years now, but it has reached the extremes.
“He has even employed an accountant consultant, over staffing, whilst he is failing to pay us.”
The disgruntled workers appealed to President Robert Mugabe and the ministry of Health to step in and help resolve the dispute.