The minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation has extended a collective agreement on Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment to the entire construction sector effective 03 November 2021. This follows an extension request by the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU).
CIF and MANWU entered into a collective agreement early this year that was only binding to their members. However, the extension means the collective agreement is now binding to both their members and non-members for at least two years. The new collective agreement replaces the one that has been in force for the past three years as published in the Government Gazette of 11 April 2018.
Of the categories of workers in the construction industry, the top earners among the artisan category are the security guards per 12-hour shift on site who will earn N$130.80 per hour compared to N$127.49 they previously earned. They are followed by fellow artisans of Leading Hand Steel Fixers and Leading Hand Welders who will receive N$51.08 per hour. The semi-skilled category is topped by joiners who will earn N$26.53 while scaffolders will earn the least amount at N$18.66 per hour. The labourers or general workers remain the lowest paid. The wages will increase next year.
The collective agreement further cautions against the reduction of remuneration in terms of low productivity levels. “An employer must not reduce the pay of an employee if the minimum productivity levels are not reached without addressing the employee’s performance and the employer has to first resort to providing additional training before initiating disciplinary and/or incapacity procedures,” reads part of the agreement.
The agreement spares the workers in the construction industry from poor working environment and advocates for a safer working environment with the intention of attaining performance standards and productivity levels. “For performance standards and productivity levels to be achieved, there must be
normal working conditions with sufficient back up of materials of specified quality so that production outputs can be reasonably obtained.”
“This ministry, therefore, calls upon all employers in the construction sector to comply instantly with the new collective agreement without any compromise, by ensuring that they remunerate their employees as prescribed as well as giving them all the benefits as outlined in the agreement.
The ministry believes that full compliance with the collective agreement and other provisions of the labour laws is the beginning of sound labour relations in the country and one of the right steps towards labour disputes prevention,” read the statement from the acting executive director in the ministry, Lydia Indombo.