Zimbabwean teachers escalate labor action to back wage demands

By Ntungamili Nkomo

Washington DC - Teachers in most parts of Zimbabwe on Monday heeded a call by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and stayed away from work to back demands for a rise in base salaries to Z$1.7 billion (US$280) a month and better working conditions.

Sources said teachers in all provinces except Matabeleland stayed home - those in Matabeleland had not yet yet received a circular calling the strike. Some members of the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association said they were continuing to show up for work because their organization was still in negotiations with the government.

VOA could not reach ZIMTA officials for their position on the strike.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe Secretary General Raymond Majongwe told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe teachers are fed up with empty promises from the government and will not settle for a lesser amount.