Cabin crew union hopes Samson solves Air Namibia

17 Aug 2015 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 17 AUG (NAMPA) – The Namibian Cabin Crew Union (NCCU) has appealed to new acting Air Namibia Managing Director (MD), Ellaine Samson to first deal with the inequalities experienced by their members.
NCCU President, Reginald Kock said in a media statement issued here on Monday that “a happy worker is a productive worker,” and that is why they are reminding Samson of the importance of dealing first with the inequalities experienced by Air Namibia employees.
“We have tried to engage the Air Namibia management team on various times to seek conclusion on certain matters but we either receive a negative response of not being available or no response at all,” said Kock.
He explained that the NCCU members submitted their salary and working condition proposals in January 2015 and up to now, the two parties still have not held a serious dialogue on the matter.
Kock added that on many occasions, union members flew out on duty without receiving subsistence and travel allowances as agreed.
“We further call on the Board to initiate an investigation on various irregularities that transpired during the tenure of Rene Gsponer,” he added.
Gsponer was Air Namibia's acting managing director before Samson.
Kock said the irregularities relate to employment and corporate management. The union thus urged the board to engage all employees to understand the level of irregularities that transpired and the harm it caused to the employer-employee relationship.
He explained that for the past five years, they have been asking the company to seriously look at the housing situation of its workers in Namibia and seek ways to assist employees to afford accommodation, but their suggestion was never considered.
“We proposed that the company considers buying a piece of land and build an employee village on it.
“Let's engage other companies and their representatives, municipalities and Government to seek a solution to the housing issue,” he said.
The NCCU, however, welcomed the swift action of the airline's Board of Directors to identify a company leader for the next 12 months.
The union acknowledged Samson’s willingness to try and assist the Air Namibia Board and employees in the hope of turning their fortunes around.
Samson was elected as acting MD of Air Namibia last Wednesday. She will serve for 12 months while the board searches for a person to appoint permanently.
Samson holds a Bachelor Juris degree, LLB honours, and Master of Law in International Air and Space Law, which she passed with distinction.
She has a Master of Business Administration and is completing her Doctorate in Philosophy in Air Transport at Leiden University, Netherlands.
Samson worked as General Manager for Corporate and Legal Services at the Namibia Airports Company and served as chairperson of the Board of Trustees at the Government Institutions’ Pension Fund (GIPF), and more recently served as a consultant to the African Union tasked with drafting regulations of competition for air transport in Africa, and arbitration procedures.