NHE workers feeling neglected

Steve Nashama

The Public Service Union of Namibia Secretary General Matheus Haakuria confirmed today that the employees of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) want a salary increment of seven percent and that the union has been requesting for the NHE management and the board to negotiate, but the request he says, fell on deaf ears.

The workers will embark on a nationwide strike tomorrow, from 8 am, he added.

Haakuria said workers voted for a strike after the refusal of NHE management to negotiate.

“All the demands of the workers were not considered and that is where the problem is,” he stressed.

He added the union’s doors have been opened for negotiation but NHE management has not shown any interest in the negotiation of the matter.

According to Haakuria, NHE has in the past threatened to retrench or alternatively not pay its workers if they strike. He says he fears the parastatal may enforce this tomorrow, although it will not prevent the workers from striking.

“When there is a problem, you sit and engage with workers,” he said. The board is irresponsible because it has not listened to the complaints of the workers,”he added.

Haakuria said the union had also written to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni about the matter but no response came from him.

He said both the NHE management, the board and the ministry did not show any interest to negotiate with the union, a situation he says has left them with no choice but to strike.

“At the end of the day, the workers have no other option but to strike,” Haakuria said.

He however said the workers are still willing to negotiate.

NHE spokesperson Taufi Shafombambi did not respond to questions at the time of publishing.

Efforts to get comment from the Urban Ministry were not successful.

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