8 October 2012

Namibia: Namdeb and MUN Reach Deal

Wage negotiations at Namdeb have concluded successfully, lifting the cloud of uncertainty that hung over the diamond mining company since negotiations stalled before going for conciliation and subsequently into a state of unsolved dispute in August.

The diamond mining company had barely emerged from last year's month-long strike that disrupted production, leaving the company in a serious financial position.

"The conclusion of the 2012 wage negotiations is a milestone that provides the foundation for revitalising the company/union relations. This is a foundation that both parties have committed to build for the benefit of Namdeb's shareholders and all stakeholders," Namdeb said in a statement issued yesterday.

Namdeb announced that the agreement was effective from April 01, 2012 and provides for a sliding scale increase in wages for employees in the bargaining unit, as well as increases in a number of allowances.

The increases in the 2012/2013 basic wages range between 8.5 percent and 10 percent depending on the grade of the employee, while the increase for the 2013/2014 wages is 7.5 percent across the board.

A mediation panel that consisted of regional councillor Eliphas Iita, mayor of Oranjemund Henry Coetzee, Swapo Party regional district coordinator Silas Shituula, Oranjemund town council management chairperson Toivo Auala and the deputy mayor Xungileni Ntinda, brokered the agreement.

Negotiations for annual increments in April this year saw Namdeb and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) engaged in another boardroom fight, and subsequent behind-the-scenes marathon maneuverings by both sides to avoid a repetition of the 2011 events.

The new agreement has resulted in a two-year wage agreement for the period 2012/2013 and 2013/2014.

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