Shoprite workers to vote on strike

19 Feb 2017 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 FEB (NAMPA)- Employees under Shoprite Holdings in Namibia are this week expected to begin voting on whether they are to embark on a national strike or not.
The Labour Commissioner on 10 February issued the 3 900 employees a Certificate of Unresolved Dispute.
The ballot process is expected to start on 22 February and run until 07th March.
Labour Consultant, Petrus Hange Zondjembo and the workers’ representative Josef Nambinga met with some of them on Saturday at UN Plaza in Soweto, Katutura to explain what it means receiving the Certificate.
Nambinga said the workers may now stage a legal strike but must follow procedures such as the ballot process.
“If the majority are in favour of the strike then the parties (employees and company) have to agree to strike rules and after that the employer will be informed of the date of strike.”
Nambinga said the dispute started in September 2015 when it was referred to the Labour Commissioner that the employees are not happy with their remuneration.
Zondjembo noted the lowest paid employee at a Shoprite company in Namibia earns N.dollars 1 750 per month without benefits.
“The employees want an increment of 10 to 15 per cent. In addition they want transport and housing allowance and medical aid benefits,” said Zondjembo.
He said renting a shack in Windhoek costs about N.dollars 1 000 per month, which forces the workers to walk.
The employees want a minimum wage of N.dollar 3 500 per month with benefits.
Zondjembo said they want the process to be legal for employees to not lose their jobs.
Businesses that fall under Shoprite Holdings in Namibia are Checkers, Shoprite, U Save, Hungry Lion, OK Furniture, Shoprite Liquor Store and House and Home.