Madagascar's civil servants have threatened to go on strike in January if the government fails to pay their salaries.
About 10,000 workers, including directors and senior managers in State departments, risked missing their December pay after their names were reportedly deleted from the public sector payroll database.
Of those, nearly 4,000 are long-serving government employees.
The Minister of Social law and Public Function, Jean de Dieu Maharante, said staff at the Ministry of Finance and Budget accidentally deleted the names as they were yet to be familiar with the new software the government is using to audit its payroll in effort to flush out ghost workers.
The workers' unions have given the government until end of the year to address the issue, without which they plan to boycott work starting January 5, 2018.
"The government promised the missed pay issue will be fixed by Friday," the head of the Magistrates' Union of Madagascar, Ms Ernaivo Fanirisoa, at the end of talks with the Finance ministry.
"They said 5,000 of the affected public servants had already received their salaries, meaning the situation is yet to be fixed," she added.
The union leader said the government should seek alternative methods of purging ghost workers in its payroll as "the current one has completely failed to produce the expected result".