Rehoboth Town Council workers demonstrate

02 Mar 2018 17:20pm
REHOBOTH, 02 MAR (NAMPA) – About 30 aggrieved workers of the Rehoboth Town Council on Friday took to the streets to protest alleged empty promises by their management.
The workers marched from the Woermann Brock shop to the town council offices to hand over a petition to the management committee.
They were specifically unhappy about alleged unjust treatment by Human Resources Manager Willie Swartz, who is also acting chief executive officer.
They could however not enter the premises as the gates were locked and guarded by the Namibian Police Force.
Reading the petition on behalf of the workers, Fredrika Diergaardt said promises of increased salaries backdated as far as eight months were not kept.
“There has been no salary increment for the last eight months as agreed upon with the Namibia Public Workers’ Union and promised to us last July. We were told we would receive the backdated salaries with our February salaries, but until now nothing has happened,” she said.
Diergaardt said the implementation of the back pay process was allegedly halted by Swartz, even though a resolution on the matter was taken by the council.
“We have run out of patience and in the meantime the cost of living is getting higher while the salaries are stagnant. We are tired of the management style of Swartz,” she said.
The workers also accused Swartz of controlling the finances of the council and called it a “one man show”.
“We have been without proper management for too long and this is negatively affecting our operations, including the development of the town,” the petition said.
The town council employees demanded that suspended Rehoboth CEO, Christoph Uirab be reinstated.
Uirab was suspend in September last year to afford the council ample time to investigate allegations made against him.
He was amongst others accused of gross negligence by allowing the town’s electricity bills to escalate from N.dollars 19 million in February last year to the latest figure of N.dollars 43 million.
The workers called on the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to intervene and forward their grievances to the Office of the President.
They gave the council seven days to respond or face unspecified action.
The management committee said they will convene a meeting next week to address the workers’ grievances.
Swartz could not be reached on his mobile as it was not reachable.