Harare - Zimbabwe state workers will go ahead with Wednesday's street protest after the government failed to give in to their demand for U.S. dollar-indexed salaries to cushion them against soaring inflation, union officials said on Tuesday.
Police have given the Apex Council of public sector unions permission to march for better pay in what is widely seen as a test of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's willingness to tolerate dissent after banning recent opposition protests.
Workers are enduring Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis in a decade, with triple-digit inflation, unemployment above 90%, acute shortages of foreign exchange, fuel and medicines, and rolling power cuts that have hit mines and industry.
Workers had expected the government to at least bring a new wage offer at Tuesday's meeting. The government says it cannot afford dollar-indexed pay, which would see the least paid worker earn 7 293 Zimbabwe dollars ($475) a month from 1 023 Zimbabwe dollars now.
"The employer brought nothing to the table, completely zero offer," Apex Council said in a statement signed by its chair Cecilia Alexander and organising secretary Charles Chinosengwa.