Confidénte pays outstanding salaries

10 January 2022 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

The management of the Confidénte newspaper on Friday settled outstanding salaries and payments of its editorial and printing press staff following a peaceful protest.

The editor and owner of the newspaper, Max Hamata, said some of the printing press workers absconded without leave over the festive season and were therefore paid half their salaries.

However, after a standoff between the workers and management in the company of the Namibian police, these differences were settled.

Hamata also dismissed claims that the newspaper is now under new management after he had sold it to private businesspeople.

“I would never do that, never sell my soul. I would rather downscale. This is my baby,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Namibia Media Professional Union (Nampu) commended Confidénte for setting the outstanding salaries.

In a statement, Nampu secretary-general Sakeus Iikela said at least three workers had been evicted from their homes as result of non-payment.

“Nampu notes that the threats of dismissal and intimidation of workers by managers and owners at Confidénte still continues unabated. This too is unacceptable.

“We therefore call on Mr Hamata and the entire Confidénte management to desist from intimidatory tactics and ensure that workers continue to operate in a free and conducive environment with the freedom to express themselves and speak out against unfair employment conditions.”

Poor conditions

Meanwhile, some of the workers claim to have been victimised and treated like animals by their management and floor supervisors.

Some say they have not received overtime payment for the last five years despite working around the clock on some days.

“We don’t get any money for Sunday work and we even sunrise at the printing press and sleep on site sometimes when there is a lot of work. We work for free but when you take one day off, they deduct N$200 but the daily rate is N$113 for fulltime workers and N$107 for casuals. We have no safety gear or safety boots at all,” said one of the workers.

Another worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he had been working there for the last five months and had not received his employment contract.

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