The Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) has given TransNamib’s management 15 days to pronounce themselves on the 2016 wage negotiations.
NATAU general secretary John Kwedhi said the union is tired of empty promises from TransNamib management and have instructed the parastatal to conclude the salary negotiations without further delay.
“We want this wage negotiation to be concluded by the end of this month,” Kwedhi said. He said wage negotiations at TransNamib are deliberately delayed, for reasons known only to the management.
“This time around we’re going to take action by staging a peaceful demonstration and ultimately by withdrawal of our labour until the dispute is resolved by the Office of the Labour Commissioner,” Kwedhi warned.
“We will continue with demonstrations until the wage negotiations are concluded. Failure in this regard will result in us withdrawing our labour after exhausting all necessary avenues, as laid down in the labour law,” he added. “We’re not going to be fooled this time around like last year.”
He asked what happened to the one-month grace period to give the board of directors time to turn the company’s fortunes around.
He said TransNamib employees are the lowest paid, compared to other State-owned enterprises. “Employees of TransNamib are paid 35% below the market rate,” he said, adding that the union has waited for too long for improvements to the wage rate, while executives and management are getting lucrative and exorbitant salary packages.
Chief corporate communications officer at TransNamib Holdings Ailly Hangula-Paulino did not reply to questions sent to her via email by the time of going to print.
Last year close to 200 employees of TransNamib and Air Namibia marched to the office the Minister of Works and Transport to deliver a petition.
At the time TransNamib shopsteward Martin Nghindwa lamented the working conditions and wage negotiations at the institution, saying TransNamib employees were among the lowest paid among parastatal employees.
He said a study conducted in 2008 showed that TransNamib employees are paid 35 percent below market rate. “We’ve waited too long to see the intervention of the shareholders in the TransNamib saga, but no concrete steps have been taken to arrest the situation,” he said, adding that the company has already lost important contracts with Rosh Pinah mine, due to what he termed the “don’t care” attitude of management.
He also accused the current TransNamib management of being corrupt and incompetent, saying their incompetence and corruption was on display when the new train lines were built.
“The tender for the Karasburg-Otjiwarongo rehabilitation was given to a company owned by a [TransNamib] manager,” he claimed. Nghindwa further said with the current management the company will not be able to significantly contribute to the economic growth and development of the country.
“As workers and citizens of this country we’re determined to contribute to the national goal of waging war against poverty, but this can only be achieved if workers are led by qualified and competent managers,” he told !Naruseb.
“The only assistance we are requesting from you is to give us competent managers, so that we can achieve success similar to Namport and other State-owned enterprises,” he added.