Health care workers in Zimbabwe went on strike on Monday, June 20 after their appeal for a wage increase of one hundred percent was turned down recently. They are continuing to press their demand for payment in U.S. dollars despite the continued devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar.
The principal nurses’ union in Zimbabwe encouraged the government to enter into negotiations and warned that people’s lives would be put in danger if the conflict was not resolved as soon as possible.
As a result of the recent spike in inflation, which reached 131.7% in May, the government and health workers are currently at a standstill. This is a gloomy reminder of the hyperinflation that wiped out people’s savings ten years ago.
On Friday, government employees voted against accepting a wage increase that was equal to one hundred percent but lower than the rate of inflation.
Patients who were waiting to be treated sat in the courtyard of the Sally Mugabe Hospital in Harare while medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, radiographers, and pharmacists, walked out of their work places to demonstrate.
Enock Dongo, the head of the Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association, told Reuters that the salary that health workers received last week were “terrible.” He added that the bulk of health workers were given 20,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($53) each month.