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Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:36 - Updated Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:35

Zimbabwe teachers to strike, ignoring government appeal

HARARE - Zimbabwean teachers will go ahead with a national strike from Tuesday after last-ditch negotiations with the government failed, unions said, risking more unrest after violent protests last month.

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The main public sector union backed down last week on its plan to strike for better pay, citing a volatile situation after security forces cracked down on protesters in January, but teachers said they would go ahead with a work stoppage.

Government officials met teachers’ unions on Monday in Harare to try to dissuade them from walking out, and to continue negotiations, but without success.

The country’s 305,000 government workers are demanding wage rises and payments in dollars to help them to deal with spiralling inflation and an economic crisis that has sapped supplies of cash, fuel and medicines in state hospitals.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Union and Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), the two biggest teachers’ unions, said their demands had not been met and the strike was on from Tuesday.

“There is no going back, the strike is indefinite. But if government concedes to our demands tomorrow, we will call it off,” said PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe.Reuters

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