14 Aug 2013 10:00
SWAKOPMUND, 14 AUG (NAMPA) The General Secretary of the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) has sent out a stern warning to all construction workers to be vigilant about unions which negotiate for amounts lower than the minimum wage.
Justina Jonas stressed during a media conference here on Wednesday that the minimum wage required by law for employees in the construction industry is N.dollars 11,11 per hour.
Manwu, however, came across a union called the Namibia Building Workers Union (Nabwu), which went into an agreement with a Chinese-owned construction company, which offered its employees only N.dollars 9 per hour.
Jonas said after consultations, the construction company has, however, agreed to rectify its mistake, and pay the workers correctly with immediate effect.
She went on to state that unions negotiating for wages which are lower than the minimum wage, are a cause for serious concern, and urged construction workers to start questioning such unions credibility.
We have no idea how many agreements of such nature are signed, but this must be condemned, she stated.
Jonas further indicated that Manwu would like to inform workers in the construction industry that a collective bargaining agreement on the minimum wage increases for construction workers had been finalised.
We are only waiting for the gazetting process. We are informed that a notice is already out, and we are hoping that the process will be completed by September, she noted.
The proposed increase is nine per cent, which will see the minimum wage increased to N.dollars 12,11 per hour, if approved.
Employers in the Erongo Region, especially in Swakopmund, should also start to accept workers right to join the trade unions of their choice, the unionist charged.
She indicated that many cases of the intimidation of employees who had joined trade unions are being reported, and thus called on employers in the construction industry to respect workers rights.
We also want to send out a warning to the labour consultants who are busy instigating the employers to intimidate the workers once they join a union, to please advise their clients correctly, as in most cases, labour unrest is caused by the labour consultants, she stated.