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Business-Labor Impasse Stalls Progress In Zimbabwe Economic Forum

Representatives of Zimbabwe's government, business community and organized labor came together Thursday hoping to make progress towards a socio-economic compact to save the economy, but were unable to surmount their differences.

The meeting had been called so participants in the Tripartite Negotiating Forum could put their signatures to the so-called Kadoma Declaration, but labor and business differed on the sequence for signing the declaration and a wage-price protocol.

Business wants to see the Kadoma Declaration signed before the wage-price piece is ratified, but labor wants to see the wage-price protocol set in place first.

The Kadoma Declaration, drafted in that Midlands town in August 2001, identified the causes of the country's economic malaise and suggested collective solutions. Since then, however, the signing of the declaration has been repeatedly postponed.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Secretary General Wellington Chibebe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the resumption of the TNF talks will not affect the national strike the union has called April 3 and 4.

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