KEETMANSHOOP: Wage negotiations kicked off between the management of Eopaleko Cleaning Services and the company’s striking employees in Oranjemund on Friday and are expected to conclude Monday.
This was confirmed by Eopaleko owner Andre Oosthuisen to Nampa during a telephonic interview on Sunday. Oosthuisen also stated that the workers’ demands for a wage increment will be met.
A total of 112 workers including cleaners and supervisors downed tools at the mining town last Monday, demanding that the company give general labourers a 20 per cent increase, and supervisors a 10 per cent increase.
The company provides cleaning services to Namdeb at Oranjemund.
Two of the workers Nampa spoke to over the weekend say they are also demanding medical aid and pension benefits. The employees further allege that the company does not pay them annual bonuses and they are demanding that they also start receiving the annual bonuses.
“The meeting will continue on Monday. If they do not meet our demands, the strike will continue,” said the secretary of the Eopaleko Committee, Nashandi Jacobina.
The committee’s vice-secretary, Gabriel Shikesho explained that they worked for Saluta Enterprises from 2008 until 21 March 2010, when Saluta was dissolved into Eopaleko.
Shikesho said Saluta used to give them bonuses of N.dollars 250, medical aid and pension benefits, something which Eopaleko does not do.
They said repeated requests for an explanation from Oosthuisen as to why the benefits were removed apparently fell on deaf ears, hence their decision to strike.
“I have worked in this industry for 14 years and I am still getting paid less than N.dollars 2 000. I have a wife and children in the North and I have to save seven to eight months in order for me to be able to go home because my salary is so low. We need an increment,” Shikesho said.