Monday , January 18 2021

Zimbabwean trade unions issue new hit on ultimatum after wage talks

Public sector unions gave the Zimbabwean Government a 48-hour ultimatum to make a new salary proposal or face a strike after wage talks reached a dead end.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is under pressure to carry out his campaign promises to revive an economy struck during the reign of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, who ruled 37 years before being forced to resign after a coup in 2017.

The Mnangagwa government has also been subject to serious criticism of the crackdown on violent protests in connection with rising fuel prices, which rights groups claim to have killed at least 12 people and injured results. According to the police, only three people have died.

Apex Council

The Apex Council, which grouped 16 civil servants' unions, said the government's negotiators did not bring a new proposal to a meeting Monday. More talks are scheduled for Wednesday, Apex Council Secretary David Datsunwu told reporters after a four-hour meeting.

"The Apex Council gives the government until the meeting on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, or faces unavoidable work," Zatsunga said.

Trade unions want to receive dollars or the monthly salary of the lowest paid worker to increase from 414 to 1700 dollars. There are 305,000 civil servants, including security forces.

With 42% inflation, the highest since 2008, and a shortage of money in circulation destroying the spending power of ordinary Zimbabweans, the fragile state of the economy is at the heart of the country's political problems.

Mnangagwa pledged during the presidential election campaign in July 2018, which he won against the background of accusations of fraud by the opposition to correct the economy and break Mugabe's policy.

Strong policy

But security forces scattered demonstrations forcefully and started fighting against activists, which led to fears that the Mnangagwa government would return to Mugabe's policy.

Several representatives of the opposition and activists are hiding and the police said on Monday they wanted to question at least 27 of them in the January 14-16 strike, which became street protests.

On Monday, Mnangagwa said he had told authorities to arrest security forces shot by Sky News by attacking a man with handcuffs. Last week, he promised action for the security forces who had committed violence during the crackdown.

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