After extensive and protracted wage negotiations, Desert Fruit and the Namibian Farm Workers Union (NAFWU) finally reached a wage agreement for the disgruntled workers. A wage agreement reached by NAFWU and Desert Fruit will see workers get a salary increment and an improved housing allowance for the next three financial years to be effected in their respective job categories. The signed wage agreement, of which New Era has seen a copy, indicates workers will get a base rate salary increase of 10 percent for the current financial year, to be backdated to July this year. This means casual workers will now get a minimum salary of N$1 764.18 per month compared to the current N$1 603.80, while permanent employees will get N$1 988.51, an increase from N$1 907.74.
The salary increment is set to continue for the next three financial years, with casual workers getting a maximum increment of N$2 348.12 by the 2019/20 financial year, while permanent staff will get a maximum increment of N$2 646.71 by the same financial year.
On top of that, all permanent employees will receive a housing allowance of N$400 from the current N$100, and this will increase to a maximum of N$800 by 2020. Employees will furthermore receive a 13th cheque, which is payable during the last month of every year to all permanent employees that have worked the previous 12 months. NAFWU General Secretary Rocco Nguvauva was delighted with the outcome, saying the two parties negotiated in good faith and all parties wanted to pave a better way going forward.