WINDHOEK - The Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) and major retailer, Pick n Pay, have reached a deadlock over wage increases after the two parties commenced with wage negotiations in April 2019. After the deadlock, the dispute of interest was declared with the Office of the Labour Commissioner at the end of June 2019 and the parties failed to reach an agreement at the conciliation meeting at the beginning of September 2019. A certificate of unresolved dispute was issued to the parties on September 09, 2019.
After the certificate of unsolved dispute was issued to the parties, the union informed employees in the bargaining unit about industrial action procedures.
“Thereafter, the meeting between the union and the employees, Pick n Pay management took a unilateral decision to convene a meeting with the employees, whereas employees were intimidated and threatened by the management to accept the company offer. Should they fail to take the company offer, they will fortify their benefits such as bonus, back pay and some will lose their jobs,” said Nafau Deputy general Secretary Absalom Willem in a statement issued yesterday.
Willem added that Nafau is dismayed and strongly condemns such intimidating practices and advised Pick n Pay to stop threating and intimidating the workers.
“Should Pick n Pay continue intimidating the workers, Nafau will take serious action against Pick n Pay,” Willem warned.
He continued that employees have fundamental rights to demand for decent wages in terms of Namibia’s laws, noting that employees reserved the right to go on industrial action without being prejudiced.
“We therefore call upon all Pick n Pay employees to stand firm and unite, and to be ready for the strike ballot. We would like also to inform the workers who were betrayed to sign the attendance list without their knowledge that the attendance sheet was affixed with sentence stating that they accept the company offer to disregard such attendance list,” said Willem.
The union and the retailer are scheduled to sign the rules of the expected strike next week at the Office of the Labour Commissioner, after which the date of voting for strike action will be communicated to all employees.
“Workers must unite and fight for decent wages and better living conditions, and they must not be afraid of an intimidation or threats made by the company if they want to achieve their common goal,” Willem concluded.
2019-09-27 09:54:43 | 9 months ago