TransNamib in salary fix

23 Nov 2016 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 23 NOV (NAMPA) – TransNamib workers’ November salaries might be delayed and bonuses not paid due to budgetary shortfalls amounting to N.dollars 162 million.
An internal communiqué seen by Nampa informs employees of TransNamib that there might be a five-day delay in the payment of their salaries, which they were supposed to receive on Friday.
The communiqué, dated 22 November 2016 and issued by TransNamib Board Chairperson Paul Smit, reads: “The November 2016 pay-date will possible be affected due to the lack of funds. Management and the Board are doing everything possible to ensure that salaries are paid by 25th of November 2016 as already communicated.
“However, in the unforeseeable event that this is not possible, delays may be experienced, which delays would be kept to an absolute minimum, but not later than 30 November 2016.”
The communiqué also says TransNamib is not in a position to pay the 13th cheque unless it receives support from the government.
In July this year, the Joint Cabinet Committee for Treasury and Treasury and Economic Development resolved that TransNamib be assisted with funding for its operational shortfall of N.dollars 162 million over a period of six months.
This was however, not possible due to the national budget cuts announced by Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein last month.
Approached for comment on the matter, Works and Transport Minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the government is aware of the challenges at TransNamib and that there is a special Cabinet committee in place to deal with issues such as these.
All Windhoek-based employees were asked to attend a meeting at the TransNamib head office Wednesday morning to be briefed on the situation. Nampa, however, understands that no management official turned up to address the workers.
Some of the employees told this news agency they were only informed two days prior to pay day that their salaries might be delayed. The labour law requires a 30-day notification.
Namibia Allied and Transport Workers’ Union (Natau) senior shop steward at TransNamib, David Tjombe said the union was not officially informed about the situation either.
“Normally, there is a clause within the recognition agreement between the union and the company that each party has to inform the other within 30 working days. This was not done,” Tjombe said.
The workers said the news had come as a shock to them as most of them had already budgeted for the festive season, while others had debt to service and families to support.
“This is a disaster and unexpected, I even have my sister’s wedding coming up. How can they notify us two days before pay day?” Ebenezer Pohamba, who has been working for the company for five years, said.
Another worker, who asked not to be named, claimed that the company has in the past asked them to look for clients to generate money which would then be used to pay their salaries.
Efforts to get comment from the TransNamib management failed.