NHE workers to down tools… no-work no-pay principle will apply

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NHE workers to down tools… no-work no-pay principle will apply

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) workers will embark on a nationwide strike tomorrow to force the board and management meet their demands after collective bargaining reached a deadlock.  

In a statement issued Tuesday, NHE spokesperson Tuafi Shafombabi confirmed that NHE was served with a notice of industrial action by the Public Service Union of Namibia (PSUN) on Tuesday. This is subsequent to balloting that was conducted on 27 January 2023, which resulted in 90% of employees voting in favour of a strike.  

The industrial action is set to happen at all NHE offices countrywide.

“Both parties have agreed and signed the ground rules regulating the conduct of the industrial action. NHE will evoke a no-work no-pay principle during the strike in terms of section 76 (1) of the Labour Act, Act No. 11 of 2007,” stated Shafombabi.

She added that NHE has a contingency plan in place. 

“However, it is without a doubt that the industrial action will negatively impact the company’s operations and disrupt the normal scheduled services for the duration of the industrial action, which is unknown to both parties,” said Shafombabi.   

PSUN said a deadlock was reached after the company failed to honour an agreement for a once-off payment to staff of N$15 000. This arrangement was agreed to as part of the approved budget for 2021/22. The once-off payment originated after the union realised NHE is financially challenged to afford bonuses for their workers.

NHE is publicly funded, and is mandated to provide and finance affordable housing to Namibia’s low-and middle-income earners. 

At a press briefing yesterday, PSUN deputy secretary general Ujama Kaahangoro confirmed the strike is legal and protected.

“The no-work-no-pay principle became traditional for employers as their biggest weapon for employees to compromise the strike, but we drafted a strategy to avert this situation,” said Kaahangoro. 

– mndjavera@nepc.com.na