Guinea to give government employees 50 percent pay rise

CONAKRY Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:52pm EST

CONAKRY Dec 14 (Reuters) - The government of Guinea reached an agreement with trade unions on Friday to grant state employees a 50 percent salary increase, ending a four-month stand-off, according to the text of the deal read on state television.

"The different parties agreed to an increase...of 50 percent in three phases - 10 percent from Oct. 1, 2012, 15 percent from Oct. 1, 2013 and 25 percent before the end of 2013," the agreement read.

After securing $2.1 billion in debt relief under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in September, Guinea offered state employees a 10 percent pay rise.

The unions immediately rejected the proposal and threatened to go on strike if they did not receive a 200 percent wage increase.

Though Guinea is the world's top supplier of the aluminium ore bauxite and holds rich deposits of iron ore, gold and diamonds, more than half of Guineans live on less than a dollar a day.

The highest paid state employees currently earn around $200 dollars per month.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Editing by Joe Bavier)