WINFHOEK: The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank), Leonard Iipumbu says allegations by the Namibia Financial Institutions’ Union (Nafinu) with regards to salary increments of Agribank employees are misleading.Iipumbu said this in response to the industrial action by Agribank employees, now in its third day.
In a media statement issued here on Wednesday, he explained that there was neither a written nor oral agreement between management and Nafinu on a 12 per cent salary increment.“Nafinu’s allegations of management agreeing to the 12 per cent inflation salary increase give a wrong impression, and are misleading,” he stressed.
He noted that management made a recommendation to the Agribank Board for a salary increment of 12 per cent, and the Board decided to approve a six per cent salary increase, based on the current prevailing inflation in the country.The Board also sanctioned management to appoint an independent consultant to investigate the issue of medical aid, and to make a recommendation to the Board on the best practices in the industry in order to take an informed decision.
“It is the prerogative of the Board of Directors to decline, approve and/or amend the recommendations, based on the facts presented in the submission in the best interest of both parties,” the CEO added.
Workers at Agribank’s six branches have vowed to keep their tools down until their demands are met.
They further demand that the appointment of Agribank’s Legal Advisor Erenstine Kalomo be investigated, and that ‘heads should roll’ over her irregular appointment and her inflated counter-offer.
They are also demanding that Human Resources’ manager Beata Kapolo be redeployed to other responsibilities not related to HR, and that Iipumbu be fired forthwith.Nafinu Secretary-General (SG) Asnath Zamuee said at the start of the industrial action on Monday that Agribank management and the union agreed on a 12 per cent salary increase for employees in the bargaining unit, which the Agribank Board rejected, and instead approved a mere six per cent salary increase.
She added that the 12 per cent was communicated to the employees, and as such, expectations were raised. Meanwhile, Iipumbu said the industrial strike has an increasingly profound effect on the operations of the Bank, and appealed to clients who wish to make payments towards their obligations to make use of commercial banks, and fax deposit receipts to Agribank.