Bank workers in Zimbabwe are now demanding salaries in United States dollars from their employers as inflation remains at unsustainable levels (above 60%).
The cost of living in Zimbabwe has been rising since the Government reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar a few years ago rendering salaries for the majority of workers worth little.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) recently noted that residential “rentals, bread and cereals, vegetables, meat as well as fuel remain the top inflation driver” products.
Last week teachers’ unions announced that teachers will not report for duty when the new school term commences (on 7 February), demanding about US$540 per month.
Even school heads stayed away from work when classes resumed yesterday, saying they are too incapacitated to report for work.
Bank workers have also given notice to their employers that they want to be paid in US dollars to mitigate against the continuing rise in the cost of living.
The Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) had a meeting with the Bank Employers Association of Zimbabwe (BEAZ) on Monday and the two parties agreed to use dialogue to break the impasse.
Shepherd Ngandu, an assistant to the ZIBAWU secretary-general told Business Report in a text message that they had suspended the (strike) action, for now, to pave way for dialogue.
This followed a meeting of ZIBAWU with BEAZ with the intervention of the Ministry of Labour.
The Ministry urged the two parties to hold dialogue sessions to come up with “better terms and conditions”.
They will then report back to the Ministry within the next three weeks, and bank workers are adamant they will go ahead with the strike if an amicable solution is not found.