Napwu’s Ngolombe denies discouraging members

11 Oct 2015 13:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 11 OCT (NAMPA) - The regional coordinator for the Namibia Public Worker's Union (Napwu) in Erongo, John Ngolombe has denied allegations that he ignored demanding better wages.
About 32 institutional workers from Swakopmund gathered at his office on Thursday to discuss how they can ask Government to increase their basic salary of N.dollars 2 600 to 5 000.
They also want their housing allowance to be increased from N.dollars 600 to 1000.
Members told Nampa at the meeting that Ngolombe never gave them feedback regarding a petition they handed over to him in October last year demanding the above increments.
During the meeting, Ngolombe advised them to organise themselves properly and follow the correct procedures to request an increment.
He apparently also said it is unreasonable for them to question Government on why they do not receive the remoteness and hardship allowance because they stay in town.
“You are shutting us down instead of supporting us, it is discouraging,” said Alfeus Howaeb.
When Ngolombe left the meeting to allow for the members to discuss the matter and report back to him, some started accusing him of “shutting them down” because he wants to protect his political career.
“These unionists do not want to be seen asking things from government because they want their names to be in the good books. They want to be appointed as ministers one day,” Hauwanga Seblon told the group.
The workers also said the six per cent increment for civil servants to be backdated from 01 September 2015 is too little.
Secretary to Cabinet George Simaata on Wednesday announced the wage increment during a media conference at State House.
Given a chance to respond on Friday, Ngolombe said he just advised the members on what the correct thing to do is.
“They are my employers, how can they think I shut them down to protect my own interest?” he asked.
He explained that the petition they gave him in October did not receive attention as it was not drafted in consultation with his office.
“If they want an increment they must inform me first so that together we can draw up a petition with their demands. Only then can Napwu represent them to negotiate, otherwise nobody will listen to them,” he said.
After the Thursday meeting, the group agreed to draw up another petition with the same demands and hand it over to Napwu so that it can be forwarded to the Ministry of Labour.