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News: Government employees in Hadiya Zone on strike over unpaid salaries, resulting in shutdown of public services

Hossaena town serves as the administrative center of Hadiya Zone, which falls under the newly formed Central Ethiopia Regional State (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Ababa – Government employees in the East Badawacho district of the Hadiya Zone have been on a work stoppage since last week due to unpaid salaries for the past three months. This strike has resulted in the closure of local hospitals, public schools, and government offices.

A school teacher from Shone town in the East Badawacho district disclosed to Addis Standard that he hasn’t received his salary since June 2023, highlighting the long-standing issue. The teacher noted that many workers come from distant areas and rent homes in the district. Due to the lack of payment, they struggle to cover rent, forcing some to return to their hometowns. Additionally, many are facing difficulties meeting basic needs, which has forced some to resort to manual labor for sustenance.

Schools in Shone town and other parts of the East Badawacho district have not been able to start their academic sessions due to the ongoing wage issue. The teacher shared that parents are growing anxious about the impact on their children’s education. Similarly, the Shone Primary Medical Center has experienced a surge in its workforce going on strike, rendering it inactive since the previous week, according to the teacher.

Despite efforts to address the issue, workers’ appeals have received limited response. When they approached zonal and regional officials, they were informed of a cash shortage as the underlying cause of the salary delays.

Another employee from Hossaena town in the Hadiya Zone stated that the problem extends beyond the East Badawacho district. Although not every area is experiencing strikes, there are widespread delays and halts in salary payments throughout the Hadiya Zone, which is located in the recently formed Central Ethiopia Regional State. The employee alleges that the delay in salary payments is due to financial issues related to soil fertilizer debt.

In June 2022, Addis Standard reported widespread salary delays affecting government workers across 13 districts of the Hadiya Zone and three city administrations. Protests erupted due to non-payment for three consecutive months, causing significant financial hardships for many residents who relied on these salaries for their daily needs.

The situation escalated when demonstrators from the Badawacho district blocked crucial federal roads, including those connecting Addis Ababa and Arbaminch. This action led to confrontations with the police and resulted in injuries on both sides. However, normalcy was later restored in Badawacho district, allowing residents to continue with their daily activities.

Attempts by Addis Standard to contact local officials on the matter have been unsuccessful. AS

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