The breakaway Lovemore Matombo faction of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions says it will lead national protests Wednesday against low salaries for workers.
Matombo told reporters Monday that 90 percent of workers are living below the poverty line with senior citizens the worst affected. He said protests will be held in all cities, but Harare police spokesman James Sabau says no demonstrations are authorized.
Matombo told VOA that his union will go ahead with the protests regardless.
"I think that we are all agreed, even with the employers, that more than 90 percent of the country's families are living below the poverty datum line," he said.
"People continue to earn peanuts while a few in the country get the cream. It's time things changed for the better for the ordinary person and so that's why we will be going into the streets Wednesday," Matombo declared.
Secretary General Japhet Moyo of the union’s main formation said his organization will not be joining the protests although the union identifies with the stated concerns.
"What we are against is them saying that this is a ZCTU protest because it is not," said Moyo. "But the concerns that they are raising are the concerns of everyone who cares about the workers in Zimbabwe but we will not be joining them on the streets."
Moyo said it was up to Matombo and his colleagues, among them General Secretary Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe to re-join the larger trade union federation and the fight for workers' rights.
"They left on their own will and we have told them and continue to tell them that they are free to come back," said Moyo.
But Matombo said his group will not re-join the main umbrella body of the workers in Zimbabwe until issues to do with voter fraud have been properly addressed.