Civil servants threaten strike

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa

GOVERNMENT workers are threatening to down their tools if government fails to reverse its decision to delay payment of their June salaries by at least two weeks.

This was revealed at a press conference yesterday by the Apex Council, the umbrella union for civil servants, in response to last week’s joint press statement by the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development and that of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare.

In the statement, government said it had no capacity to pay its workers on regular dates because of thinning revenue streams.

It said the situation was worsened by the payment of bonuses to the majority of civil servants.

Government workers boycotted the Monday meeting which had been called by Labour Minister Prisca Mupfumira and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

On Tuesday, they again boycotted a meeting convened by Mupfumira to discuss the matter.

Apex Council chairperson, Ceicilia Alexander, told journalists that government workers were likely to strike if the decision is not reversed.

“We advise government that the Apex Council will not be responsible for the workers’ reaction to this attack on their livelihoods if all government workers do not receive their salaries by the traditional dates,” she said.

She said all unions had consulted their membership on the way forward, adding there was a unanimous agreement that government should adhere to traditional salary payment dates.

“We are all coming from our constituents and, as we are speaking, all the civil servants are disgruntled. Pressure is mounting and our members are very much agitated,” she said.

Follow us on Twitter @FingazLive and on Facebook – The Financial Gazette