05 Aug 2014 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 05 AUG (NAMPA) Â– A strike by workers of the Namdeb Diamond Corporation entered its fourth day on Tuesday after wage negotiations between the companyÂ’s management and the Mine WorkersÂ’ Union of Namibia (MUN) ended in a deadlock.
The MUN is demanding increments on basic wages of 15 per cent, while the company offered between 7.5 and 8.5 per cent. In addition, the MUN made demands for increased contribution by the company on medical aid for employees, as well as a subsidy for schooling.
MUNÂ’s Namdeb branch secretary for information and publicity, Mathew Nangombe in a media statement issued on Tuesday said its members have agreed to an offer of a 10 per cent increase in wages, but could not come to an agreement with regards to the medical aid contribution and school subsidy.
Â“The medical aid contribution and the school subsidy are the most expensive deductions from the membersÂ’ salaries. In the past five years, we never got a proper increase. Now the company is in a healthy financial position to bail out their employees on medical aid and the school subsidy,Â” he noted.
Nangombe in addition said Namdeb employees are allegedly still accommodated in colonial compounds, hostels and containers and they do not receive a housing allowance which would allow them to acquire their own property.
He further alleged that Namdeb employees are Â“the poorest in NamibiaÂ” in terms of property acquisition as they do not have the financial capacity to finance and acquire their own houses.
The units in which workers are living belong to the company and should be vacated after 30 days after retirement.
Â“Therefore our demands are realistic and we know the company can afford to meet our demands,Â” he added.
During the mediation efforts, the company revised its offer to 10 per cent on basic wages for all employees, as well as an additional 10 per cent contribution by the company to employeesÂ’ medical aid, according to a media statement issued by the company secretary Libertha Kapere on Tuesday.
Â“This offer surpasses the wage settlements reached at other mines in Namibia. The MUN rejected this offer. The strike affects most of the operations at Namdeb, with an estimated revenue loss of approximately N.dollars 10 million per day,Â” she stressed.
The strike commenced on Saturday.