Tyre company workers at Otjiwarongo strike

15 Sep 2016 12:30pm
OTJIWARONGO, 15 SEP (NAMPA) – Employees of Bandag Distributors Namibia, a tyre retreading company at Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region, are striking over a salary increase.
The 11 general labourers downed tools on Friday after they reached a deadlock in negotiations with the company on their demands for housing and transport allowances.
The workers are being represented by the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu).
Branch Organiser for Manwu’s Central Regions, Elifas Andowa told Nampa on Tuesday they followed all outlined procedures before opting to strike.
“We reached a deadlock with the company at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and we decided to strike,” Andowa said.
He added that a certificate for an unresolved labour dispute between the union and company was issued last week.
The workers are demanding a housing allowance of N.dollars 1 500 and transport allowance of N.dollars 775 per month.
They are currently paid between N.dollars 1 500 and N.dollars 3 000 per month and do not receive any allowances.
Bandag Distributors Namibia was founded in 2002 at Otjiwarongo.
Contacted for comment on Tuesday, the owner of the company, Daniel McPherson referred all questions to his representative, Gean Employer Association.
The representative, who introduced himself as TW Koorts, said his association is aware of the strike.
“We will respond by writing to the Office of the Labour Commissioner,” said Koorts in a telephonic interview.
Contacted for comment, Labour Commissioner Henri Kassen on Thursday said his office is aware of the unresolved labour dispute between the employees and Bandag Distributors Namibia.
He said the conciliation process took place in July and September this year, but was unsuccessful.
“The industrial action is a consequence of this unsuccessful conciliation and it is thus in line with the provisions of the Labour Act of 2007,” said Kassen, adding that his office is handling the matter and will be involved until the dispute is resolved.