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Strike in Malawi grows

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RAPHAEL TENTHANI | February 19, 2013 11:51 AM EST | AP


BLANTYRE, Malawi — Public workers in Malawi, on strike demanding a 67 percent pay hike, have threatened to close the country's airports. The government says it doesn't have the money to meet the demands.

"If government does not respond positively to our demands, civil aviation workers will join the strike which means all airports will be closed," Eliah Kamphinda Banda, president of the Civil Service Trade Union said Tuesday.

Public workers in the African nation are on strike protesting high cost of living resulting from last May's 49 percent devaluation of the currency, the kwacha. Government gave the public servants between 21 and 46 percent salary hikes last year.

The strike started slowly last week but has spread with teachers joining in. Nurses have also threatened to join the strike.