Protesting Zimbabweans Dealt a Heavy Blow

Civil servants stung by Zimbabwe’s galloping inflation staged what they hoped would be a crippling one-day strike on Wednesday in a demand for increased wages, saying that their earnings are disappearing under skyrocketing prices. It is the first time that government workers in Zimbabwe have been allowed to strike against their employer, and the action in the Southern African nation comes as inflation stands at approximately 300 percent. On Tuesday, government fired 77 striking doctors who were pressing for better salaries and better working conditions, paralysing all major public hospitals. The government is using military doctors to attend to patients in some public hospitals while negotiating with Cuba to help with its medical personnel. Zimbabwe doctors in October rejected a pay rise of 60% which resulted in the government instituting disciplinary hearings on the defiant doctors. The doctors, who earn a minimum of $100 a month, say their salaries have been eroded by inflation. The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) which represent junior and middle-level doctors have remained defiant, accusing the Harare government of negotiating in bad faith. 

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES | BUSINESS DAY LIVE

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