21 November 2012

Namibia: Nampower Strike Ends With a Deal

NAMPOWER and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (NUN) have reached agreement on salary increases that will cost the company up to N$10 million this financial year.

The workers, who have been on strike since Thursday, will return to work today.

Paulinus Shilamba, the managing director of NamPower, said this money had not been budgeted for.

"NamPower has to find a way to absorb the additional cost and see where to cut costs," Shilamba said yesterday afternoon.

The main bone of contention – the 100% medical aid coverage for all employees after retirement – remains unresolved, though.

"The two parties however did not reach an agreement yet on the union's demand of a 100% medical cover for employees post retirement. The parties agreed to continue pursuing discussions in this regard," Shilamba said.

A committee comprising representatives of NamPower and MUN will be formed to try and solve the matter.

NamPower and MUN agreed that all employees within the bargaining unit – grades 10 to 18 – will receive a 9% adjustment across the board.

Grades 2 to 6 employees will receive a 6,5% increase, while those in grades 7 to 9 will receive a 7,5% adjustment.

Employees in grades 10 to 12 will receive an 11% increase in their housing allowances, while those in grades 13 to 17 will receive a 15% increase.

Grade 18 employees will receive a 35% increase in their housing allowance.

Shilamba said the strike did not affect any of the key operations. "Energy trading was not affected. There was some impact but really not much."

He said the increases would be backdated to July 1 2012.

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