Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

25 January 2013

Namibia: Natau On Wage Confusion

A media briefing to clear the confusion with the wage agreement between Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU) and TransNamib was held this week.

The wage deals resulted in a 10% wage increment for the A and B categories and a 7% wage increment for the C category. NATAU said both parties agreed that the A and B 8% will be implemented effective from 16 June 2012, while the remaining 2% would be implemented effective from 16 December 2012 and would be receivable on16 February 2013. For the C bands 6% was implemented from 16 June last year while the remaining 1% will be implemented effective 23 January this year.

The new salary structure was approved by the TransNamib Board of Directors but the workers were dissatisfied with the adjustment and staged a strike. General Secretary for Namibia Transport and Allied Workers John Kwedhi stated that the salary adjustment was divided into two phases. However the last phase which was supposed to be implemented in December still has not materialised and has prompted some of the employees to query the implementation of phase two of the promised 6% salary adjustment.

Kwedhi also expressed concern about an email statement that was sent by Company Correspondent for TransNamib, Elaine Claasen. The email stated that the deferral of the second phase was a condition from NATAU in order to call off the strike and that the board made a prudent decision in the best interests of the company. Claasen further stated that the board is of the view that the employees duly accepted the wage increment as agreed with the Union. "At no point did NATAU discuss phase two agreements as eluded by Ms Claasen. During the negotiations NATAU engaged management on the union proposal as per member mandated. We are not mandated to negotiate phase two of the new salary structure, but for issues contained in the wage demands",said Kwedhi.

In conclusion Kwedhi said that the statement made by Claasen is baseless and represents no truth and urged the TransNamib management to implement the remaining percentages of the new salary agreement.

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