Security union demands N$15 per hour pay rate

Stefanus Nashama

The Namibia Security Workers Union (NASWU) has threatened to go on a nationwide strike until their demand for a minimum hourly rate of N$15 for all security guards in Namibia is met.

This follows a request made by the union in March to all security companies looking to hire new security guards to pay their employees the new minimum wage.

NASWU’s president, Michael Amushelelo, spoke to the Windhoek Observer yesterday and stated that despite requesting security companies to engage on the matter since March, no company has done so.

Amushelelo said the union will have no choice but to commence a nationwide strike beginning on 9 April.

“We have warned companies who intend to hire workers while we are on strike to prepare to suffer serious consequences. Since 9 March, we have requested them to engage with our union to avoid the national strike, but because of their absolute arrogance, they have decided not to do so. Thus, we are forced to strike to increase the minimum hourly rate for Security Guards to N$15 per hour,” he said.

Amushelelo pointed out that some companies are paying as low as N$5 per hour, while most companies pay N$8.50 per hour. He described this as exploitation, especially considering that these companies make millions in profit.

Last Friday, Amushelelo informed the Namibian Police Force about the planned strike, as required by the Public Gathering Proclamation, AG 23 of 1989.

“We have notified the police. All security guards from various companies have confirmed that they will be joining the national strike to demand a minimum of N$15 per hour,” he informed.

In his letter, Amushelelo expressed disappointment that the security companies had failed to address the matter by 5 April.

A security guard from a local security company expressed that the failure of companies to discuss the matter with the union shows ignorance.

“This behaviour should come to an end. Many of the guards were waiting for a fruitful negotiation, which did not happen. This forces them to opt for a national strike,” said the source.

The source, who fears losing his job, spoke anonymously and requested that the company name not be published.

In 2021, the Namibia Security Guards and Watchmen Union (NSGWU) were involved in tense negotiations over the minimum wage for security guards.

The union was pleased to see an agreement being gazetted, stating that all new guards must now be paid a minimum of N$8.75 per hour.

Furthermore, guards who have been employed for over a year are entitled to a minimum wage of at least N$10 per hour.

Namibian Police Force spokesperson, deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, confirmed that the notification letter on the strike was received by the office of the Khomas Police Regional Commander.

However, she stated the police can only monitor to maintain law and order.

“This is a notice for a strike, which is a labour matter and therefore not within the scope of public gatherings or demonstrations covered by Public Gatherings Proclamation AG 23 of 1989, which need to be handled by Nampol,” Shikwambi said.

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