Conciliation a potential solution to NBC strike-NAPWU

11 May 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

The Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) is pinning its hopes on conciliation to find a solution to NBC workers’ wage demands, failure of which could see it filing a court interdict.

NAPWU head of operations Gideon Thomas said the union was hoping a solution could be found when the two parties meet for conciliation.

“It’s conciliation that must bring parties back to the table to make sure that we find a solution to the problem. We will also take the employer [NBC] to court should conciliation not work,” Thomas said.

His fellow NAPWU colleague, Alph Murangi, also accused the broadcaster of being dishonest.

“The challenge is NBC does not want to tell the truth; they don’t have money. When we met the minister [Peya Mushelenga], he said that the funding was low,” he said.

Won’t solve anything

Meanwhile, when asked what was being done to bring an end to the employees’ strike, NBC board chairperson Lazarus Jacobs referred Namibian Sun to a statement the broadcaster released on Friday.

He would also not respond on what was being done to pay workers’ medical aid fund contributions and housing subsidies which have now fallen behind.

In the statement, Jacobs said a strike on the part of NBC’s employees would not solve any problems.

“Industrial action at this juncture linked to wage increase won’t solve our challenges, given that the 62% cut in subsidy as announced by the ministry of finance denotes a N$206 million annual reduction in subsidy compared to the N$334.1 million allocated in the previous financial year (2020/21),” he said.

He further warned that the strike risked jeopardising the future of the broadcaster.

“The current financial situation is untenable, and the liquidity risk of the business is extremely high, which could possibly lead to a situation hampering normal operations and jeopardise the possibility to continue as a going concern.”

Jacobs added that there would be no real winner from the strike.

“The board is adamant that the strike should end, and this can only happen if all parties come together to find workable solutions.”

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