NWRWU and International Commercial sign wage increment agreement

26 Jun 2013 05:30
OSHIKANGO, 26 JUN (NAMPA) - The Namibia Wholesale and Retail Workers Union (NWRWU) and the International Commercial Company at Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region have reached an agreement on wage negotiations.
The agreement will see the company?s employees receive salary increments of between 10 to 20 per cent.
The two parties signed the agreement at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare office at Eenhana on 17 June, following final negotiation meetings held between the union and management of the company on 11 and 17 June.
The agreed salary increments are effective as from last month. Employees earning less than N.dollars 1 500 per month will receive a 20 per cent salary hike, while at the same time it was agreed that permanent workers will not be paid less than N.dollars 950 a month.
It was also agreed that workers on probation, or who sign short-term work agreements, will get a starting salary of N.dollars 800 per month.
Workers earning between N.dollars 1 500 and N.dollars 2 500 will receive a 15 per cent salary increment, while workers earning more than N.dollars 2 500 received a 10 per cent increment.
As per the agreement, the salaries of the company?s drivers should not be less than N.dollars 1 500 and workers who have been with the company for five years should receive a starting salary of at least N.dollars 1 500 a month as from May 2013.
No back-pay is effective on the increments.
The NWRWU on Tuesday held a media briefing at International Commercial at Oshikango where the union representative, Victor Hamunyela, commended the company.
At the same time, Hamunyela appealed to all local companies to follow the example set by the International Commercial Company despite economic challenges.
Speaking during the same meeting, International Commercial General Manager Ayman Hijazi said his company?s management wants harmonised labour relations and strove to comply to the laws of the country by entering into the salary increment agreement.
Hijazi stated that despite the fact that business has gone down at Oshikango because of tough competition on the Angolan side and the withdrawal of an 80 per cent tax incentive by the Finance Ministry, his company will continue paying its workers a market-related salary.
Government offered investors at Oshikango an 80 per cent tax incentive, where investors paid tax of only 20 per cent on their export goods at the establishment of the Oshikango Export Processing Zone regime at Independence.
The Finance Ministry withdrew this incentive in the previous financial year in order for Government to generate more revenue.
Hamunyela indicated that there are many companies which do not adhere to the requirements of the Labour Act at Oshikango, and these companies are reluctant to pay their employees reasonable salaries.
According to Hamunyela, his trade union is busy collecting data about companies that are ignoring the requirements of the Labour Law in order to expose and eventually report them to the relevant authorities.
No wage negotiation will be done for International Commercial workers in 2014, as a flat rate of a 10 per cent salary increment across the board has been agreed upon already and is to be implemented in May 2014.
International Commercial owns bonded warehouses at Oshikango and mostly engages in cross-border trade.