The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Strike On the Cards At Transnamib As Talks Fail

AFTER a deadlock in negotiations with TransNamib, the general secretary of the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Natau), John Kwedhi, has warned that a possible strike will be discussed on Friday. Natau said yesterday that they had failed to resolve the dispute over wage and other increases.

Kwedhi said the union and the company would meet for the last time on Friday to agree that there should be a ballot on a strike. On Monday, Natau will conduct a countrywide strike ballot among its members.

"October 9, the results of the ballots [will be released] and 48 hours' notice of the strike will be submitted to the TransNamib and the Namibian Police," he said.

The railway parastatal is not new to labour disputes. Earlier this year, it allegedly lost N$1,5 million a day as a result of a strike that was declared illegal by the Labour Court in Windhoek.

The company's general manager for finance, Noël Mouton, at that time informed the court in an affidavit that with rail transport in Namibia brought to a standstill due to the strike, the supply of jet fuel to Namibia's largest airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport east of Windhoek, was interrupted.

According to Kwedhi, Natau attempted for a "win-win" solution while management offered a five percent salary increase, which excluded "substantive issues".

He said the conciliator last week gave the two parties a chance to find solutions, which ended in a deadlock in negotiations yesterday.

"In conclusion, we are requesting our members to remain united and patient during this difficult time, until the strike arrangements and procedures. They will be informed accordingly," he added.

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