Staff Reporter Windhoek During Wednesday’s State of the Nation address, President Hage Geingob said he fully supports the call by workers unions to introduce a national minimum wage. A national minimum wage, he said, is, in fact, also a proposal contained in the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Drawing up legislation for a national minimum wage is easier said than done, but at least Namibia has taken a step closer in that direction. Last month, a Collective Agreement determining the minimum wage payable and the minimum employment conditions in the country’s construction sector was promulgated, as per Government Notice No. 65 published in Government Gazette No. 6567 of 11 April 2018. The Collective Agreement came into effect on March 31, 2018. The Collective Agreement had been signed by the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union on November 16, 2017. With the declaration of the Collective Agreement, the agreed minimum wage payable and the minimum employment conditions is extended by the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina, to the entire construction sector, irrespective of the size of business and irrespective of who owns the business. With the agreed increase of 5.6 percent on minimum wage payable, which came into effect on March 31, 2018, the new minimum wage is, therefore, N$16.94 per hour. According to Bärbel Kirchner, consulting general manager of the CIF, it is important that there is no confusion. She explained that an increase of 5.6 percent on minimum wage payable is only relevant for certain selected positions, as per the Collective Agreement. It also only includes an increase of the minimum wages that would need to be paid. The Collective Agreement between the two parties, CIF and MANWU, was concluded after arduous negotiations, which included the threat of looming industrial action. The CIF has emphasised that the construction sector had been hit severely by the economic downturn since September 2016 and has seen large-scale retrenchment in the entire supply chain.
New Era Reporter
2018-04-13 10:30:54 7 months ago