Namibia Dairies signs 3-year wage deal

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Namibia Dairies and the workers’ council members successfully signed a three-year wage negotiation and condition of employment agreement for employees in the bargaining unit (Grade 1 – 6A) last week Wednesday.

Heita Shikondjeleni: Manager, Employee Relations at Namibia Dairies, has said that they were happy with the outcome and that agreements could be reached despite the absence of a recognition agreement with the union. “The signing of the three-year wage negotiations and condition of employment with the workers’ council members of Namibia Dairies on behalf of the employees in the bargaining unit is a tremendous success attributed to the healthy employer-employee relationship within the company. This is testimony that agreements in the workplace can be achieved in the interest of both parties through relevant engagement by negotiating and at the same time maintaining a healthy productive and mutually trustworthy relationship. Over the last years, we have become and remain the employer of choice and can say confidently that we employ passionate people who deliver amazing results on all levels,” said Shikondjeleni.

He elaborated that a six percent increase is applicable on the monthly basic salary for Grades 1 to 6A employees with effect from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2016, 6.5 percent with effect from July 1, 2016 until June 30, 2017, 7 percent with effect from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2018 and a 13th cheque inclusive for the next three years effective December 2015, December 2016 and December 2017.

Namibia Dairies Human Capital Manager, Borney Britz, also expressed his delight at the successful deliberations: “Namibia Dairies achieved a significant milestone by signing a new 3-year wage agreement two months before the new financial year. In the past, these negotiations were done through the union representing the majority of employees and were almost never finalised before the implementation date. However, Namibia Dairies does not currently have a recognition agreement with any union and as a result has for the past three years consulted directly with employees through an employee elected workers’ council, which shows that it is possible to nurture and grow a positive and productive employer-employee relationship. One of the key success factors that contribute towards this is constant and open communication between management, the council as well as employees, which was also evident as part of the negotiating process where the majority of the employees confirmed their satisfaction with the offer provided by the company.”

Sylvia Tjenao, a workers’ council member added: “The signing of the three-year wage negotiation has been successful, because of the good relationship between the company and the workers’ council, which represents employees. As a company, and certainly an employer of choice, I am proud that we reached a milestone within just three months whereas negotiations of such nature usually lasts ‘forever’ before anything is agreed on. Although this journey presented itself with some challenges we have learned a lot and have gained valued experience through the wage negotiations process.”

Another workers’ council member, Moika Garoeb, concluded: “To the business; the workers’ council and the bargaining unit employees – well done on the signing of the next three years wage negotiations. After all, we are one!”

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