Namibia: No Wage Increase, Bonuses for Brewery Employees As COVID-19 Impact Bites

Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) on Tuesday announced that due to the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on its operations and sales, there will be no wage increases at the company for 2021 financial year and no bonuses during 2020, with the move expected to affect 431 employees.

NBL Managing Director, Marco Wenk in a statement during the early stages of the lockdown period assured employees that retrenchments as a result of the liquor industry shutdown at that stage, would be an absolute last resort.

Aacording to Wenk NBL has instituted various cost cutting measures including salary reductions for executives, while the rest of their more than 900 employees have thus far continued to receive their full pay.

Part of the cost cutting measures alluded to by Wenk included a zero wage increase to be paid in the 2021 financial year (01 July 2020 - 30 June 2021) and no bonuses payable for 2020.

On this basis an agreement was signed with the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union last week, he added.

"The impact of COVID-19 has been severe on the liquor industry. Namibia Breweries Limited has been substantially impacted by the ban on alcoholic sales in Namibia during stage 1 and stage 2 of the lockdown as well as the alcohol ban in South Africa. I am pleased to say that through purposeful discussions, our shop stewards not only understand this impact, but embrace the bigger picture which is O&L's 2025 strategy. We appreciate the true ownership the shop stewards demonstrated during the negotiation process and signing of the agreement, and thank Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union for their valued partnership," said NBL Manager: Human Capital, Timothy Izaks.

NBL Fulltime Shop Steward, Asalia Mushinga expressed satisfaction in the negotiation process.

"We had successful and fruitful negotiations. Our good relationship with management of the company contributed significantly to the negotiation process. We understand the position the company finds itself in, and accept the fate of the next financial year with regards to increases and bonuses. At this point, job security and a fixed monthly salary is more important," said Mushinga.

More From: Namibia Economist

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