Underpaid Stevedoring workers get salary adjustments

16 Dec 2015 14:50pm
WALVIS BAY, 16 DEC (NAMPA) - Striking employees of Namibia Stevedoring Services (NSS) at Walvis Bay received salary adjustments on Tuesday.
Stevedoring specialises in handling cargo commodities through the Port of Walvis Bay.
Represented by the Namibia Seamen and Allied Workers' Union (Nasawu), 87 out of 130 employees went on strike on 05 December, demanding better salaries and conditions of employment.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nasawu President Paulus Hango said the employees were underpaid, receiving N.dollars 8.00 per hour.
“For the past two years we have been fighting to have their salaries improved. I am happy the company agreed to adjust the salaries,” he said.
Hango shamed those employees who abandoned the strike to go back to work, saying such “coward” behaviour should not be continued.
“We are trying to improve their salaries and living conditions yet they do not support us, we need to always stick together,” he stated.
The parties agreed that from 01 October 2015 to 30 April 2016 general workers will be paid N.dollars 15; forklift drivers N.dollars 22.50; gangway general workers N.dollars 20; those directing containers arrangement in the gangway N.dollars 23; crane operators N.dollars 24.13, while those counting the containers receive N.dollars 25 per hour.
The second part of the agreement which start from 01 May 2016 and end 30 April 2017 states that general workers will be paid N.dollars 17; forklift drivers N.dollars 25; gangway general workers N.dollars 21; those directing containers' arrangement in the gang way N.dollars 26; crane operators N.dollars 26, while those counting the containers receive N.dollars 29 per hour.
Employees will also be paid housing allowances of N.dollars 250 and N.dollars 100 for pension every month with effect from 01 October 2015 to 30 April 2016.
The housing allowance will increase to N.dollars 300 from 01 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.
Over the same period the employer will continue to pay N.dollars 100 towards the workers’ pension, with workers contributing the same amount.
On top of that each worker will receive a lump sum of N.dollars 4 500 from 01 May 2015 as back pay by the company for delaying signing the agreement.
The money is to be paid on or before 18 December 2015.
Workers returned to work on Tuesday immediately after the signing of the wage agreement.
NSS Director of Finance and Business Pieter Louw, Hango and Nasawu Secretary-General Erriki Shitana signed the agreement.
“We will implement the agreement on the agreed date. We will further improve the salaries and employment conditions of our employees beyond this agreement,” Louw promised.