Zimbabwe’s largest trade union-federation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, today threatened to mobilise a national general strike for action against poverty and the deteriorating and unstable macro-economic environment but gave no date.
It said its general council, the highest decision making body in-between congresses met today and noted that the workers in Zimbabwe have suffered immensely as wages have failed to keep pace with the inflationary trend.
“The situation has worsened rendering it practically impossible for workers across all sectors to earn the current salaries and sustain their families or be able to go to work,” secretary-general Japhet Moyo said in a statement.
“The upward adjustment in fuel prices has had knock-on effects on the prices of basic goods and services, worsening the impact of the already depreciating exchange rate on the general level of prices.
“Since the scrapping of the multicurrency, despite government propaganda, prices have remained high beyond the reach of many while inflation continues to go up.
“The General Council reiterated its call for wages and salaries to be paid in the United States Dollars or its equivalent at interbank market rate.
“The ZCTU General Council resolved to continue mobilizing and reaffirmed its call for a general strike at a date to be announced soon. We therefore urge all workers to remain ready for the impending stay away.”
Reports, two weeks ago, said that the strike was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, July 22 and 23.
Zimbabwe has so far two violent demonstrations since the Emmerson Mnangagwa administration took over.
One 1 August, six people were killed, when people took to the streets to demonstrate against the delay in announcing presidential election results for the harmonised elections held on 1 August.
The law allowed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission up to 4 August to announce the results.
People took to the streets again in January but this time the demonstrations were marred by massive looting which resulting in more than a dozen people being killed.
Police and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front have warned that they will deal decisively with any violent demonstrations.
The ZCTU represents mostly those employed in the private sector whose numbers have dwindled over the last few years because of deindustrialization.
Civil servants, who have their own unions and now constitute the biggest number of employees in the country, are represented by the Apex Council which reached an agreement this week on a once-off allowance of Z$400 across the board for this month.