WINDHOEK: The Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) has decided to call a strike at TransNamib, after the union and the company management failed to resolve a dispute on wages and substantive increases for the 2012/2013 financial year.
Natau’s General Secretary John Kwedhi announced at a press conference on Monday that his union (the sole bargaining agent at TransNamib) and the company have failed to resolve the dispute at the 3rd round of the conciliation meeting, held at the Office of the Labour Commissioner earlier that same day.
At the conciliation meeting, Natau attempted for a win-win solution but TransNamib management only stuck to their five per cent salaries increase, which excludes all substantive issues.
The employees proposed increases are 33 per cent for the A-Band, 28 per cent for the B-Band and 21 per cent for the C-Band.
Last month, the conciliator gave the parties a final chance to find an amicable solution. This resulted in the Monday deadlock, upon which the parties were issued with the certificate of unresolved dispute by the conciliator, Kwedhi noted.
As a result, Kwedhi said, on Friday (05 October) the parties will meet to agree on the strike, and on Monday (08 October 2012) Natau will conduct a countrywide secret ballot to decide on the strike action.
“On Tuesday, next week, the results of the ballots will be announced and 48-hour notice of the strike will be submitted to TransNamib and the Namibian Police Force,” he said.
He has requested all Natau members to remain united and patient during this “difficult time” until they finish all the strike arrangements and procedures.
Kweedhi said the members will be informed accordingly thereafter.
Accoding to recent media reports, workers at TransNamib are severely underpaid.
A study conducted in 2009 reportedly indicated that TransNamib workers are earning 35 per cent under the market range.
Earlier this year TransNamib workers also went on strike and the company lost about N.dollars 15 million.
Next week’s TransNamib strike, if it goes ahead, will follow just-ended strikes at Agribank and Polytechnic of Namibia. The strikes at both these institutions were resolved after protracted negotiations between unions and management.