The Namibian Public Workers’ Union (Napwu) has asked the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for the exact date when it will operationalise the employment of all contract employees into permanent positions as agreed upon between the two parties.
In a letter sent to the corporation, through their lawyer Sisa Namanje, the union stated that the NBC has failed dismally in fulfilling its part of the agreement, signed by the two parties to bring the month-long strike, from 22 April to 25 May, to an end.
In the letter seen by New Era, the union said NBC has “not operationalised the employment of all employees, who are on a one year contract into permanent employees with immediate effect (25 May 2021), not worked on the modalities for the implementation of benefits offered, not tabled to Napwu within seven days the modalities as agreed upon and not established a joint commission comprised members of the board, management union and workplace union representative as agreed”.
In a short letter replying to Napwu general secretary Petrus Nevonga, NBC director-general Stanley Similo said, “kindly note that the NBC board and management are currently engaging on the modalities around this matter; we will provide your office with our response not later than 7 July 2021 at 16h00,” replied Similo.
The NBC’s spokesperson, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, yesterday said due to the corporation’s current financial situation, they have to consider many aspects. If the environment becomes conducive, certain demands will be met, depending on what is in the coffers.
“There are certain rules that need to be applied when it comes to the employment process. Looking at the strike, everybody had to go back to work. Nobody won,” she said.
NBC recently informed the union it no longer holds the 51% plus one majority to qualify as the exclusive bargaining unit.
The union came under fire from its beneficiaries who had lost faith in its operation and questioned its mandate due to the agreed demands not being met in the stipulated time frame.
The union demands action and failure to comply will lead to them resorting to the relevant courts to enforce the agreement and relief at the cost of the NBC.
The corporation has been accused by employees of victimisation and deducting salaries “unlawfully” from those who took part in the strike.
On 15 June, the Public Service Union of Namibia (PSUN) filed an application in the High Court, ordering NBC to immediately pay back any money deducted from workers as a result of the “no work; no pay” rule.
PSUN, a rival union, offered soft loans as a relief to the striking workers, some of whom received no salaries after the NBC applied for the ‘no work; no pay’ principle.