15 November 2012

Namibia: Nampower Workers On Strike

ABOUT 520 NamPower workers were to go on strike at 06h00 this morning.

By late yesterday afternoon, attempts were still being made to avert a strike, but these failed.

The strike will include workers who operate power stations, those who attend to customer concerns, shift supervisors, general workers and cleaners, Mbanjanda Nguvauva, the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN) branch chairperson, said yesterday.

According to him, last-minute talks to avert the strike fell flat yesterday. The union and the company’s management met from 10h00 for the whole day yesterday.

Nguvauva accused the parastatal’s management of not wanting to meet the union halfway. “We failed to agree. We could not resolve anything.”

Late yesterday afternoon, he said they were preparing union members for today’s strike.

Nguvauva said on Tuesday that the workers demanded a 10% salary increase, while the company was prepared to offer 8,5%. NamPower managing director Paulinus Shilamba then said they had agreed on a 9% salary increase but did not agree on other issues. The workers also want their housing allowance increased by 20%. For grade 10 to 12 workers, NamPower offered 8,5% and 10% for workers in grades 13 to 17, according to Nguvauva. Shilamba said the union accepted in principle a 10% housing increase for grade 10 to 12 workers, 15% for those at grade 13 to 17 and 35% for those in grade 18. Shilamba said the union agreed to an adjustment to 6,5% for grades one to six while employees in grades 7-9 will receive 7,5%.

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