Harare - Zimbabwean unions Friday called on civil servants to protest next week to demand a near doubling of basic wages, after the finance minister ruled out any increases due to budget cuts.
"We are calling for a mass demonstration by all civil servants in Harare on Tuesday," Tendai Chikowore, spokeswoman for the state employees' umbrella union, told AFP.
"We are demonstrating against the government. The grievances are long-standing. We want a review of our basic salaries, rural allowances, transport and housing allowances."
Chikowore said the workers want across-the-board pay rises, including a raise from $286 to $560 a month for the lowest-paid government workers.
"The basic salary was not reviewed in January and we thought the government in its wisdom would be sensitive and make provision for an increase in our basic salaries in the budget," she said.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti ruled out any wage hikes for this year when he presented the mid-term budget Wednesday, saying lower-than-expected revenues had forced the government to trim its spending from the planned $4 billion to $3.6 billion.