Zimbabwean Government Workers Threaten to Strike Over Salaries

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean government employees threatened to begin a strike on Friday over the state’s refusal to increase their wages, the head of the main public-service labor union said.

Prices in Zimbabwe are rising at the fastest pace since a hyperinflationary spiral in 2008, when the rate hit 500 billion percent, amid a scarcity of foreign currency that’s caused a shortage of food and fuel. Doctors and teachers have staged strikes in recent weeks to demand higher pay.

The government has failed to meet state employees’ requests for higher salaries, David Dzatsunga, secretary-general of the Apex Council, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Harare. The union has served notice of plans to begin a strike in the next 48 hours, he said.

“The offer from government falls short by $1,219 for the lowest-paid worker,” Dzatsunga said. “On the expiry of the notice period, the Apex Council will not be held liable for what happens thereafter.”

Workers are demanding a salary of $1,733 a month for the lower-paid employees, up from $414, inclusive of allowances, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Jan. 11.

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