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NBC strike ends with a whimper 

2021-05-27  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

NBC strike ends with a whimper 

A strike at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) that started some four weeks ago ended yesterday following an agreement between the corporation and union leaders.

Workers at the country’s national broadcaster on 22 April embarked on a nationwide legal strike, demanding an 8% salary increment to be backdated for 24 months.

Additionally, the workers wanted all 133 workers who were on month-to-month contracts to be employed permanently. 

However, the corporation leadership on the onset said it is facing serious financial challenges this year due to the budget allocation of N$127.5 million, which represents a 62% reduction from the previous financial year’s allocation of N$334.1 million.

Announcing the agreement reached by the corporation and Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) the union representing the workers, NBC director general Stanley Similo said within the spirit of wanting to resolve the matter, the corporation leadership led by the board chairperson, Lazarus Jacobs and Napwu’s general secretary, Peter Nevonga, met on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

He said the two parties agreed on the terms, which led to calling off the strike and subsequently cancelling the court case, which was lodged by Napwu.

“Part of the conditions of the agreement entails the matter pertaining to employees who have been employed on one-year contracts, a matter which the board was dealing with, the NBC will now review and seek to have long-term employment secured for them,” Similo said in a statement.

 He said equally, Jacobs will lead a team, which will look into finding means of stabilising the NBC from an employee and employer perspective. 

“The board and management’s main focus at this stage remains to secure jobs, hence the engagement with the shareholder for additional funds caused by the shortfall in the subsidy allocation for 2021/22 financial year,” he said.

According to Similo, the process has been a trying and difficult one for the corporation.

“We would like to sincerely thank the public and our corporate partners for the patience shown. We do welcome back our employees and look forward to a prosperous future,” he concluded. 

2021-05-27  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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