ARANDIS: Disgruntled employees of the Dantago Clothing company here said their demonstration held on Wednesday is the marking point of more action to follow, if the company fails to resolve the dispute around wage negotiations. Close to 350 employees embarked on a peaceful demonstration at the company’s offices under the banner of the Namibian Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Nafau).
The workers are alleging that negotiations to increase current salaries from a mere N.dollars 500 to N.dollars 1 200 per month are being delayed since May 2012.In addition, workers are claiming that monies which were thought to be deducted for union fees, Social Security and pension have not been paid to the respected entities.
Nafau explained that for the past year, no payment was received from the company regarding workers’ union fees.However, the company managed to start paying, but the payments are still not up-to-date, Nafau Regional Coordinator Hifavali Shikongo said yesterday.According to the petition read by senior shop-steward Phillimon Malenga during the demonstration, workers of Dantago Clothing are disappointed by the delaying tactics used by the company regarding the annual wage negotiations of 2012/2013.
“We were supposed to receive our wage increase in July 2012, but due to the delay from the company, we have not received anything. We are affected by the economic living standards, and our salaries are not market-related,” he said.
Malenga added that workers are trying their level best to be productive, and are tired of the unreasonable delay in wage negotiations shown by management.The workers are thus demanding that the negotiations be finalised as soon as possible.
“We want a meeting with the management by Friday to find a solution,” the workers chanted.
Their jobs entail operating sewing machines, cutting fabrics, finishing off garments and ironing.
There was no representative from the company’s side available to receive the petition.
Malenga explained to Nampa during the demonstration that since no one was available to receive the petition, he slid the document under the door of the company’s managing director, Colin Williams. However, when this reporter entered the office, the company’s manager, Claudine van Wyk, was stationed inside her office, but refused to speak to the media.
When confronted, she exclaimed ‘I am not the owner of the company’, whilst closing the door and disappearing into the factory.Williams left for South Africa recently, knowing that a meeting was scheduled for Tuesday to discuss wage negotiations.Dantago Clothing, a garment manufacturer, was started more than 10 years ago by Collin and Belinda Williams.The company is responsible for cutting, making and trimming clothes for clients like PEP Stores, Edgars, Foschini and Woolworths.