Despite brushing off the notice that they have lost bargaining power three months ago, one of the country’s biggest unions on Friday received the final nail in their NBC coffin.
A letter from Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) director general Stanley Similo informed Napwu secretary general Petrus Nevonga on 1 October 2021 that the Namibian Public Workers Union (Napwu) no longer holds “the 51% plus one majority required to remain the exclusive bargaining unit” at the NBC.
The corporation initially issued Napwu a notice on 21 June 2021 that the union has until 30 September to “remedy the situation”.
However, NBC in its latest letter said, “Your union membership as of 1 October is 247, translating to 45.4% of the total workforce of 522 employees”.
The termination action is based on the recognition agreement signed in 2011.
The union has come under serious criticism during a month-long strike that left the broadcaster’s workers in a worse state than before they downed tools after the management gave themselves performance bonuses in December 2020.
The workers went on strike for better working conditions, equipment and for contract workers to receive permanent employment.
However, workers abandoned the strike after a month when NBC instituted the no work no pay principle.
In June, Nevonga confidently said it is possible to rectify the situation.
“These are issues that form part of our usual operations. We will have it rectified but I may not mention how we will do it,” Nevonga said.
In a letter dated 11 June, NBC rejected Napwu’s request to deduct, on behalf of staff, an increase of a Nam-Mic staff loan from N$15 000 to N$50 000.
Instead, Napwu had to see rival union PSUN offer soft loans to NBC workers who had to do with severely diminished salaries after the strike that started on 22 April and ended on 25 May.
Attempts to obtain comment from Napwu proved futile.