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Beleaguered Zimbabwe Government Averts Strike By Civil Servants

The government of Zimbabwe appears to have averted a potentially disastrous strike by the country's 180,000 civil servants in reaching agreement with the Public Service Association, representatives of the workers and observers said Thursday.

The PSA remained tight-lipped on the details of the deal agreed late Wednesday. But labor sources said the minimum salary for public workers was increased to at least Z$200,000 (US$40) though some said it might be as high as Z$350,000 (US$70).

In previous interviews, PSA officials had said they wanted to obtain a minimum salary closer to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe's poverty line, now at $566,000.

Whatever the exact figure, said political analyst and University of Zimbabwe lecturer John Makumbe, officials in Harare achieved a major coup by averting a strike by civil servants which could have crippled government operations.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...