The Strike That Was Called Off Is Now On Again

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Barely a month after the Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) called off a strike at the Windhoek Country Club Resort at the eleventh hour, Nafau is again threatening to stage another industrial strike tomorrow. In a press statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General of Nafau, Kiros Sackarias, said that to date the wages and conditions of employment negotiations between the union and the local hotel have not been completed and no substantive agreement has been reached. Sackarias said, in terms of the procedures regarding the dispute resolution, everything has been followed up to Conciliation Board meeting that was held on November 1 at the Office of the Labour Commissioner. The Secretary-General also accused the WCCR management of deploying delaying tactics during the Conciliation Board meeting with the Union. “Such attitudes of buying time is not only frustrating to the members but also shows a very low degree of leadership etiquette from WCCR management.” Sackarias also complained that it is unacceptable that each time a WCCR team comes to the negotiating table, they display a lack of having the fullest mandate to negotiate in good faith, which leads to the final deadlock of the negotiations. The Union is demanding a salary increase of N$145 across the board and a housing allowance of N$100 back-dated to March 1, while WCCR is only offering a N$100 salary increase and N$60 back-dated four months. Sackarias said the current positions of both parties have been declared final after the Conciliation Board meeting. “The Union members are now fed up with management’s attitude of misusing the hotel money by squandering the scarce resources in their Labour Consultancy at the expense of their employees.” Sackarias said the morale of the employees at the hotel is now low as the employees are not motivated. “The employees were supposed to have their increases in March 2006 but, due to the long and protracted negotiations, they could not get their increase.” The Secretary-General further claimed that the WCCR had no valid or good explanation why it could not meet the workers’ demands. Results of a ballot, which was held at the WCCR premises last week to determine the number of employees in favour of the industrial action, indicated that 178 were for the strike, while only one was against it. Sackarias said the results are a clear testimony that the workers are fed up with the whole situation. He called on members of WCCR to render solidarity to support the WCCR employees. WCCR management has refused to give any comment on the planned industrial strike. The hotel was notified on Saturday about the possible industrial action.