WINDHOEK: The Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) says a deadlock has been reached on salary negotiations with Air Namibia.At a media conference held at the union’s headquarters on Tuesday, chairperson of the Air Namibia shop stewards committee Helvey Uushona stated that the national airline’s management failed to negotiate in good faith and reach an amicable solution with regards to the issue, describing their actions as “highly inconsiderate”.
The employees have proposed increments of 12 per cent for employees who earn between N.dollars 24 000 and N.dollars 28 000 per annum; 16 per cent for employees earning between N.dollars 16 100 and N.dollars 20 000 per annum; 18 per cent for employees earning between N.dollars 12 100 and N.dollars 16 000 and 20 per cent for employees earning between N.dollars 8 000 and N.dollars 12 000 annually.
The employees have also proposed that the housing allowance for employees in all categories be increased to N.dollars 1 000 and the transport allowance be increased to N.dollars 700.
Uushona said the union has now referred the matter to the office of Labour Commissioner Bro Mathew Shinguadja for conciliation and arbitration.
She stated that it is “evident that Air Namibia’s management intends to compromise on losses incurred by the organisation as a result of lack of strategic planning” at the expense of the employees’ welfare.
“This is an unfavourable, unacceptable tactic that should be avoided at all costs and should not be entertained at any point,” she added.
Uushona then called on the workers to be patient and to behave responsibly whilst awaiting the finalisation of the process through the Labour Commissioner’s office.Natau also appealed to its members to assist in minimising the impact of the action on Air Namibia customers.
Wage negotiations at the national airline started on 17 February this year.
At a meeting between Natau and Air Namibia held in June this year, the company told the union that funds the company received from its main shareholder (Government) was not intended for salary increments, but was to be used for the upgrading of the company’s fleet.