NHE strike ends with no salary hike, staff receive once off N$5k

Stefanus Nashama

The National Housing Enterprise and the Public Service Union of Namibia yesterday agreed to end the national strike with the conditions of no salary increment, and the deduction of employees’ salaries will be enforced over a period of eight months for the days the workers were striking. The parties instead agreed to a once of N$ 5000 payment for employees.

The workers were demanding a seven percent salary increment, better working conditions and against nepotism, favouritism and corruption in the company.

The workers downed tools in February this year and eventually ended the strike yesterday after both parties reached an agreement. The first deductions will be effected by the payroll of the previous month.

“The parties also agreed to the once-off payment of N$5000 to workers, which is payable within two days of signing the settlement agreement,” the agreement reads.

Both parties agreed to reconsider the union’s salary demand for the financial year of 2022/23.

“The Status of the performance agreement on the deliverables will be shared with the union. It is also agreed that the parties should have outstanding recognition and procedural agreement signed off on or before the 30th of this month, to regulate the collective bargaining process between the parties regarding the mutual interest,” the agreement reads.

The parties also agreed against any retaliation, discrimination or disciplinary actions by the employer against any employee who participated in industrial action.

The company will pay overtime working hours based on the scorecards or cooperate cards.

The company’s Spokesperson Taufi Shafombabi said the company has not increased the salary as demanded by the workers, and the principle of no work no pay will be implemented.

Shafombabi also indicated that the company did not deduct the employees’ salaries yet, but the deductions proportioned over eight months will be implemented, and this is because the company cannot deduct the full salaries of the workers at once.

She said the N$5000 is a relief to the workers, and it will be paid once.

Chief Executive Officer Gisbertus Mukulu said the strike has ended and the company will continue to foster a new relationship with the union, now and in future.

Mukulu indicated that as workers are returning to work there should be a good continuous relationship between the company and the union.

“The company will manage the no work no pay principle. Monthly meetings will be conducted to allow workers’ participation.” Mukuli said.

The union’s Secretary General, Mathews Hakuuria on his part said that what they needed was dialogue, to build mutual trust and respect between the parties.

Hakuuria indicated that the union and its members will continue to make great contributions to address issues affecting the industry.

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