The government yesterday said calls by civil servants who are demanding that their minimum wage be raised from just over $400 to $1 700 are premature because the two parties have not yet exhausted negotiations as required by the law.
Civil servants who have met the government twice so far had declared their intention to go on strike in two weeks.
The Ministry of Information yesterday said according to the 1997 regulations which provide for the declaration of a deadlock in negotiations this can only be declared after three consecutive meetings.
The government and representatives of civil servants have only held two meetings so far.
“The parties therefore need to deal with outstanding matters and avoid premature declarations of a deadlock,” the ministry said.
Civil servants were initially demanding payment of salaries in United States dollars but the government said it did not have the foreign currency to do so.
The government said it could only increase salaries of civil servants by 10 percent which the workers rejected.
The government yesterday more than doubled the price of fuel and this is expected to push the cost of transport up as well as that of basic commodities.
The new fuel prices are, however, below the parallel market prices that people were buying fuel for so the cost could already have been factored in, but Zimbabweans usually want to cash in on any opportunity.
The government said it will provide tax rebates to registered businesses to cushion them from increased costs but people have to wait to see how this pans out.
But most retail shops had already priced their goods on the parallel market rate.