NBC employees call for reversal of austerity measures

24 Sep 2019 17:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 24 SEP (NAMPA) – Employees of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) have called on their management and board of directors to reverse all austerity measures implemented at the State broadcaster with immediate effect.
During a countrywide demonstration on Tuesday, the employees in a petition said the recent implementation of the austerity measures has caused panic and stress among employees in addition to tarnishing the broadcaster’s name.
The measures imposed earlier this month due to the dire financial situation the company finds itself in, include ceasing live broadcasts from Parliament and abolishing four of its television channels.
“It is also disheartening to note that the board of NBC considers retrenchment as option to reduce costs during a period of high rates of unemployment in the country. We have also noted with dismay that there are outstanding payments to third parties such as pension funds, medical aid, home loans and others, although indicated as such on payslips,” the petition read.
The employees added that third party payments have also not been made for the past three months, placing some employees on blacklists and affecting their credit.
“Due to non-payment of transport agents, we are faced with shortages as most cars are now grounded and not operational,” the petition continued.
Other grievances included exorbitant amounts of money allegedly spent on subsistence and travel allowances and on outsourcing instead of using NBC employees.
The employees further alleged that nepotism, discrimination and tribalism are also a problem at the broadcaster.
They declared a vote of no confidence in the NBC management and board of directors and demanded the immediate removal of employees’ names from the records of the Transunion Credit Bureau for being in arrears on accounts.
“We also ask NBC to honour the recognition agreement between the Namibia Public Workers Union and the employees. In addition, NBC should do away with the one-month contracts for employees and employ all contract workers who have been on contract for more than seven years, permanently.”
The petition was read and handed over by employees all over the country.
In Swakopmund, NBC Erongo Station Manager Cele Nkuvi received the petition on behalf of the management and board of directors in the Erongo Region.