By: Lina Amutenya
TransNamib spokesperson Abigail Raubenheimer says that the company is currently not in a financial position to afford an increment.
She, however, says the company is in open discussion with the unions even though the company’s financial situation remains unchanged.
This comes as a strike by TransNamib workers is set to commence on Wednesday, despite the company saying it will apply a no-work no-pay principle during the strike period.
“Apart from this, TransNamib is always clear about the challenges we face in terms of the message that was communicated to the unions, employees and all our stakeholders. TransNamib management is ready and willing to sit down with the union and see the way forward,” Raubenheimer told The Villager.
“Services will most likely be impacted in terms of regular train services and more. The impact will only be seen tomorrow as the strike takes place, and the company will have a clear image of how internal/external services will be affected.”
She further said the company has a business continuation plan in place in terms of their service regarding how they will provide services during the strike.
Meanwhile, labour expert Herbert Jauch says the labour act indicates that when workers go on strike, employers are not forced to pay their employees during that period and that TransNamib may not pay its employees given the company’s financial situation.
“In the case that TransNamib is claiming there is no money, the company needs to open up their book and show the unions the outflow of money in the company and see how some cost can be minimised to cater for a salary increment.”
The Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) gave TransNamib Holdings and the parties a 48hour notice on Monday.
“Such a notice period as well as thereafter, hold themselves available to the meet, at the request of either party to the dispute or the conciliator, in a further endeavour to settle the dispute,” said the the union’s acting General Secretary, Narina Pollmann.
Natau on Monday released the results of the TransNamib workers’ strike vote, which took place on Friday from 10 polling stations countrywide.
The result of the ballot was revealed by Pollmann, who announced that out of a total 1,024 workforce in the bargaining unit, a total of 788 TransNamib workers cast their votes. Furthermore, 726 workers were balloted and voted for the strike, with a turnout of 22 not in favour of the strike.
Additionally, 40 votes were spoiled.
Last month, the TransNamib won a temporary reprieve when the High Court put a temporary halt to the planned industrial action by its workers that is scheduled to start Wednesday.