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With Strike Looming, Zimbabwe Government to Meet State Workers Again

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro met last week with representatives of public workers and reiterated their position that Harare could not afford major raises

Following the expiration on Monday of a seven-day ultimatum issued by Zimbabwean civil servants demanding a significant pay rise, the government has called for an urgent meeting on Wednesday in a bid to cool tempers among disgruntled public workers.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro met last week with worker representatives and said Harare could not afford major raises.

Worker representatives subsequently threatened to launch a strike this week.

Workers are demanding a US$502 monthly salary for the lowest-paid of public workers, who are now earning an average of US$240 a month.

Tendai Chikowore, chairwoman of the Apex Council which negotiates for state workers, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that Wednesday’s meeting could be critical.

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