Bargaining union Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) says the results of a TransNamib workers’ nationwide strike vote will be released today.
This was revealed on Friday by the union’s secretary general, Narina Pollmann.
According to her, the results from 10 polling stations countrywide will be available today. TransNamib workers on Friday took to the polls as per out-of-court agreement reached between their union and the employer on 27 July 2022.
The national rail service operator took Natau to the Labour Court after the union resorted to conducting industrial action in the form of a strike. The strike was initially scheduled to take place on 18 July.
TransNamib claimed the union took the decision to strike without having fully complied with the strike rules issued by the conciliator on 7 July – citing the strike could thus have been illegal.
The court then granted TransNamib a temporary interdict, restraining Natau from proceeding with the planned strike. The court issued the order before it could hear the merits of TransNamib’s application.
However, on 27 July, the parties reached a settlement agreement that stipulates the workers will first vote on the strike. They agreed on this, despite Natau calling off the strike, as the union reneging did not nullify the certificate of unresolved dispute issued by the conciliator on 24 September 2021.
On Friday, the workers, who were eager to cast their votes, said they have “waited for so long for their voices to be heard”.
A general worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he has been with the company for more than 10 years, and does not recall when last he received a salary increment.
“The work that we do does not translate to the money we receive on a monthly basis. Everything is increasing every day, but our salaries are not changing,” he stressed.
The worker said it is time the company looks at their interests.
Another general worker, who has been with the company for 15 years, said he was tired of working without being promoted.
“The work that we do is not easy. I have not received any salary increase in the last five years, or a promotion. I have a wife and children to feed. I am hungry. I have to vote,” said Peter Kalfish.
The workers and TransNamib management have been at loggerheads, as employees demand better salaries and benefits. However, the company has been consistent with its sentiments that there are no available funds for increments, citing the continuous financial struggles it undergoes.