Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek After weeks of uncertainty regarding the future of Ramatex workers, the Malaysian company has finally reached an agreement with the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) to pay out the workers. Secretary General of Nafau Kiros Sakarias told New Era this week that the union and Ramatex signed the agreement last week Thursday. The company agreed to pay all the outstanding monies to all employees including the foreign Philippino workers as required by the Labour Act. Sakarias said after protracted negotiations Ramatex had agreed to pay salaries for March and April as notice months, as well as May. He added that the company would also pay for employees' leave days. Nafau has bargained with Government to have all Ramatex employees exempted from paying tax on the money. The secretary general said the company would contribute 70% to pension, which will also not be taxed by Government as part of its contribution to the plight of the Ramatex employees. He added that Ramatex also agreed to pay for voluntary testing of all its former employees to ensure that they do not suffer any illness caused by working at the textile company. Sakarias said Ramatex employees who bank with Standard Bank were expected to receive their payout on Tuesday, while employees at the other banks were expected to receive their money yesterday. He said all the former employees of Ramatex should contact his office or go to the Ramatex office if they do not receive their payout by the end of the week. Close to 3 000 employees of Ramatex lost their jobs instantly when the textile company closed down. The decision to close down Ramatex came as a shock for thousands of employees. The employees were not notified about the company's pending closure. However, the Government was informed a month in advance about the intended closure and despite vowing to take action against Ramatex for breach of contract, nothing has been done. The Government expressed disappointment that Ramatex had not given a one-year's notice despite the fact that they earlier agreed that they would notify Government of their intention to close down a year in advance. The Government which is said to have invested over N$100 million in the Ramatex company in the form of subsidising water, electricity and land, also expressed their concern over the possible environmental effects the company might have caused.
2008-03-27 00:00:00 10 years ago