The end of March/early April saw leather sector employers in Zimbabwe win their case against a threatened national strike by the (leather sector) trade union. Labour wanted a 200% wage increment backdated to January plus a further increment in April.

Fair minded employers believe their employees deserve something significant, in fact very much so in the face of astronomical inflation, but the implications of a 200% back payment were terrifying, especially since the goods produced between January and April had already been sold on the basis of old costings.

Demand for a further increment in April gave employers the shivers and understandably so. Further, sales have been dropping since 2000 and for 2004 are likely to be half what they were three years ago.