ASSO appoints consulting group to deal with wages, labour issues

16 Oct 2013 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 16 OCT (NAMPA) – The Association of Service Station Owners (ASSO) appointed local human resources company, Totus Consulting Group to deal with all issues and negotiations relating to minimum wages and labour unions.
ASSO chairperson Rupert Harmse made the announcement in a media statement issued on Tuesday.
“After a meeting held with ASSO’s Advisory Committee held on 15 October 2013, it was decided with a majority consensus to appoint Totus Consulting Group to deal and act on behalf of ASSO.
Henceforth all negotiations and issues relating to minimum wages and labour unions involved will be will be handled by this consulting group,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Fuel and Allied Workers’ Union (NAFAWU) has called off a strike at the end of September 2013 following a ‘positive’ response from ASSO.
NAFAWU gave ASSO 48 hours to respond to a petition in which they demanded that the organisation removes a clause in its constitution, which allegedly prevents the association from dealing with labour matters on behalf of employees.
NAFAWU accused ASSO members of hiding behind that clause in its constitution, calling it “tactics of employers to continue to hide behind the grey areas in the Labour Law”.
It further pleaded for a minimum wage of N.dollars 4 500 per month for all employees working at service stations.
Currently, there is no minimum wage, and service station employees are thus paid between N.dollars 300 and N.dollars 2000, or as the employer wishes.
NAFAWU Secretary-General (SG) Frans David during a media conference last month expressed gratitude that the union successfully exerted pressure on ASSO, which resulted in the association pledging its cooperation, and which eventually will pave the way for a collective agreement between the union and the employers represented by ASSO.
Harmse said in a letter addressed to the union on 27 September 2013 that as representative of the majority of retailers in Namibia, it will avail itself to open the path of negotiations on pertinent labour issues in the retail industry.
Harmse also highlighted that it would be imperative to involve the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) during the negotiations, as the outcomes will impact on the price of fuel, thus placing the matter within the domain of the MME.