Zimbabwean public workers were set to embark on a one-day strike on Thursday after a meeting between worker representatives and Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga on Tuesday to address their grievances failed to materialize, labor sources said.
The minister failed to show up, instead writing to the Apex Council bargaining unit that she had referred the issue to an inter-ministerial committee for action.
Reached by VOA, Matibenga refused to comment on the situation.
Last week the minister asked labor representatives for more time to consider demands by civil servants, leading to the scheduling of the meeting on Tuesday.
Representatives of state workers are demanding an entry salary of $538 a month, but the government says it cannot afford to boost wages to that level.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe on Monday petitioned President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intervene in the pay dispute.
Apex Council Chairwoman Tendai Chikowore told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that by failing to turn up for the meeting the minister had betrayed the trust of negotiators.