January 20, 2012

Civil servants on five-day strike

Civil service unions have resolved to scale up their struggle for better salaries and working conditions by embarking on another five-day industrial action. This desicion already follows a one-day strike. Apex Council chairperson and Zimta Mrs Tendai Chikowore said, the countrywide strike had made a "statement" by recording a 70 percent success. Apex Council brings together four civil servants unions, Zimta, Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the Public Service Association.
According to Chikowore, civil servants had exhausted all channels to have their grievances addressed and accused the Minister of Public Service, Lucia Matibenga, a former trade unionist herself, of snubbing them. TUZ chief executive, Mr Manuel Nyawo, said the strike had sent a strong warning to Government. "Now the fire has finally been ignited and no amount of force or intimidation can stop us. The barometer reading across Government institutions can tell how volatile and explosive the situation can be if Government fails to address our concerns," he said.

MDC-T however said it feared that Zanu PF had hijacked the strike and was using some union leaders to attack the party and some of its ministers instead of addressing the concerns of the civil servants as a united government. MDC-T spokesman Douglous Mwonzora said it would be wrong to blame his party or Matibenga for the problem as the issue of the conditions of civil servants has been a long-standing issues since the inception of the GNU in 2009. (The Standard / The Herald)

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