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Zimbabwe Farm Workers, Employers Deadlocked On Wage Increase

The General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe said negotiations with farmers have deadlocked, forcing the union to go back to its members Wednesday for consultations.

Farm workers want Z$100,000 a month (US$24) a month compared with an average of Z$8,320 (US$2) a month today. Employers have yet to put an offer on the table, but one source said some in the sector propose a Z$50,000 minimum monthly wage.

Chairman Clever Kugotsi of the National Employment Council for Agriculture said that employers are finding it hard to meet demands, but hope to reach an agreement. He attributed the shortage of farm workers to land reform: some former farm workers who benefited from land redistribution are now farmers in the A1 commercial class.

General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union General Secretary Gertrude Hambira told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that workers simply want to earn enough to get through the month as prices continue to rise.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...