AIR Namibia cabin crew on Friday marched to the office of the Labour Commissioner from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare seeking a solution to the outstanding issues between their employer, the commissioner and themselves.
The crew, members of the Namibia Cabin Crew Union (NCCU), handed over a petition to Labour Commissioner, Bro-Matthew Shinguadja.
NCCU president Reginald Kock said the march came because the Labour Commissioner did not respond to their communication in the past.
“We have written five to seven letters to the Labour Commissioner, starting in 2012 and he has only responded once, “ Kock said.
In a letter to the union dated 9 September 2014, Shinguadja acknowledged receiving one of the letters, but replied saying the union leader seems not to understand the duties of the Labour Commissioner and was misleading the members.
Despite indicating in the same letter that he will not be available to receive the petition, Shinguandja met the demonstrators after they refused to leave the premises.
According to Kock, the union was asked to submit a letter with proposed dates today.
Shinguandja, however, said he asked the union to list the members' grievances, which he will go through and set up a meeting.
“I explained to them the role of the Labour Commissioner and I asked them to list the issues they think seriously impact the relationship between the employer and themselves. I then told them that since some people are flying out and may not be available at some time, they should provide me with possible dates, so I can schedule a meeting for them to sit with their management,” Shinguandja said, adding that the pending disputes will not be interfered with.
Rebeka Munana, a cabin crew member for six years, says they have been trying to get better uniforms and more comfortable shoes since 2010.
“As a woman, we are not allowed to wear pants despite that it sometimes gets very cold in the aircraft. Since I joined, we had the same issues. It makes me think: if they can't take care of the small issues, how will they take care of bigger ones,” Munana said.
The cabin crew also dismissed a report in New Era which claims that they earn between N$15 300 and N$32 000 per month.
“We want them to address the transport issue of the cabin crew,” he said, adding that some of the members stay in Katutura and Khomasdal where taxis are not easily found in the early morning.
By Ndapewoshali Shapwanale the Namibian