Zimbabwe Civil Servants Srike Continues

“I think the majority is on strike,” said Tendai Chikowore, who heads a council gathering the public servants’ unions.

“We would like to see a response from the government. If not, we will enforce the strike on the ground.”

On Friday, government workers launched an open-ended strike, demanding that their wages be increased to at least $630, from $150.

They say their pay does not cover basic living expenses, in a country recovering from an economic crisis that saw the collapse of the local currency, abandoned one year ago in favour of the US dollar.

“The government must realise that public servants are workers, not slaves,” said Takavafira Zhou, president of Progressive Teachers Union.

“Unless the government meets the workers’ demand, the strike will continue. By the end of the week, we should have 100% of workers on stay away,” added Zhou.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported that the strike had not been successful, because not all schools and courts were closed.

Zimbabwe civil servants, particularly teachers, nurses and doctors, have been striking on and off over better salaries since 2008.

Teaching at public schools has been almost non-existent, with disgruntled teachers leaving the profession in droves. – AFP