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Zimbabwean Union Threatens Labor Action Over Bank Cash Withdrawals

Despite an announcement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that it will increase the limit for individuals on cash withdrawals from banks to Z$100 million a week from Z$500,000 a day as of Thursday, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said it will launch a labor action if workers are unable to withdraw their money from banks without limitation.

The new weekly withdrawal limit of Z$100 million is worth about US$50 at the current street exchange rate of around Z$2 million per greenback for physical currency. Exchange rates in check transactions recently ran into the billions of Zimbabwe dollars in operations dubbed "burning money" with speculators channeling funds into the stock exchange.

The labor body said its action had the support of the National Constitutional Assembly and other leading civic groups. An NCA spokesman told VOA that it has shifted a demonstration it had called this week to Thursday to bolster the action by the country's main union.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Secretary General Wellington Chibebe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the trade union wants nothing less than the total elimination of limits on cash withdrawals from bank accounts.

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