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.