08 Nov 2017 17:10pm
WALVIS BAY, 08 NOV (NAMPA) - The salaries of all construction workers will increase with 5,6 per cent for the year 2018 only.
This follows a collective agreement reached between Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) and the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia on Tuesday.
The wage negotiations started in April this year when the union had asked for 13 per cent.
Manwu Secretary-General, Justina Jonas-Emvula told a media conference at Walvis Bay on Wednesday that the employers had offered only 2,5 per cent during negotiations.
She said both parties later compromised and settled for 5,6 per cent.
Jonas-Emvula said the next wage increase for 2019 and 2020 will be negotiated after the end of the 2018 financial year.
Here we will then negotiate for a two-year agreement as we always do. For now we settled for one year because the economy is not doing well, she said.
The collective agreement will be submitted to the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation for the minister to process it and Manwu is hopeful of having it gazetted by 31 December 2017.
This is so that workers can get paid their 5,6 per cent by January 2018. We then call all employers and employees to look out for the new adjustments in 2018, she said.
Jonas-Emvula also called on Government to seriously empower the local contractors and avoid giving major contracts to foreign investors.
We repeat again, Namibia has reputable and experienced local contractors, who can do mega projects. Opportunities must be given to them without undermining them, she said.
This will be in the interest of Namibian workers who will be assured of long-term employment as opposed to the current situation, where some foreign contractors import workers, machinery and export profits.
The unionist also advised local companies to form consortiums and joint ventures for them to be able to work on bigger projects and increase their chances of being considered.