Sign Shop cuts working hours and salaries in half

02 Mar 2017 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 02 MAR (NAMPA) – Some employees of the Sign Shop Group are not happy with management’s decision to reduce their working hours and thus their monthly salaries by about 50 per cent.
Representing the 20 workers picketing near the company premises on Thursday, private labour consultant Elbert Pogisho told Nampa he wrote a letter to management last month to express the workers’ unhappiness about being forced to work less and be paid less, but they disagree.
Pogisho said the workers have proposed that the company retrench them if they cannot afford to pay them, but the Sign Shop Group has refused.
In a media statement issued Thursday, General Manager Beverly Jandrell-Uren said the economic downturn has left the wholly-owned Namibian group of companies with no choice but to reduce working hours to 4.5 per day and thus, salaries have to be reduced as well.
“Clients are cancelling projects, regular clients are shelving work and in general the tone of the economy is down.”
She said the 134 employees of the eight entities such as Sigh Shop, Xtreme Print and Stamp, and Eshisha were since October 2016 informed of the possible measure to ensure their employment.
“It would be short sighted for the owners to consider drastic measures such as retrenchment at this time without considering the well-being of employees and the families whom they support.”
The picketing employees were mostly manual labourers who work in the workshop or on the sites and earn between N.dollars 2 000 and N.dollars 4 000 per month.
They were Thursday denied entry to the company’s premises in the Southern Industrial Area and say they were not given the opportunity to speak with management, only their legal representative.
Pogisho however said management refused to speak to him, adding they are not planning industrial action that could potentially be deemed illegal.
He said the employees are adamant that they would prefer to be retrenched and receive a pay-out so they can begin looking for employment elsewhere if the company cannot afford to pay them for a full day’s work.
Employee Asser Mbaukuua told Nampa that earning half of his of N.dollars 2 000 salary would make life difficult.
“Don’t cut our money, just leave our salaries as they are,” appealed Mbaukuua.
The statement from the group of companies quotes Executive Director, Ernie Rix saying they as employers have the responsibility to ensure employment, in whatever format and for as long as possible.
“Our teams are doing everything possible for the continuation and financial viability of all the business units.”