1 000 workers to get permanent jobs at NovaNam

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Lüderitz – More than 1 000 workers who have worked for more than a year in a temporary capacity at fishing firm NovaNam, a subsidiary of Pescanova, are scheduled to be employed at the company as permanent workers with improved wages.

So apart from better conditions of service the workers will also have job security.

Category one land-based workers who are permanently employed at NovaNam are paid N$15.51 per hour and are entitled to a pension, a housing allowance and a bonus. Category two land-based employees who are permanently employed are paid N$14.21 per hour.

Temporary land-based workers are paid N$13.39 per hour without any fringe benefits although they perform similar duties to their colleagues in categories one and two.

The permanent recruitment of temporay workers will be effected because of an agreement brokered by the Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Alpheus Muheua, who for three days held negotiations on the issue with NovaNam management at Lüderitz.

Muheua also had meetings with the Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Nafau) and NovaNam management to give feedback on the findings and investigations done by labour inspectors and to agree on the way forward.

Nafau acting secretary general Jacob Penda who led the union at the meeting said they arranged the meeting with Muheua and NovaNam to look at the concerns of workers. He said some of the affected employees have worked for seven years as temporary workers, which is not in line with the Labour Act.

Penda stressed that the Labour Act says temporary employees who perform equal value or similar work to those performed by permanent employees should receive the same remuneration and benefits.

The parties greed on several points although the agreement will be signed next week, as NovaNam needs to consult its lawyers for legal interpretation of the agreement.

But Penda emphasized the new agreement would be implemented.

NovaNam employs 900 permanent employees and more than 1 000 temporary workers.

by Tuulikki Abraham

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