NBC employees dump Napwu

The Swapo-affiliated union has until September to regain its majority among the broadcaster’s workers.

24 June 2021 | Labour

WINDHOEK

OGONE TLHAGE

The Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) has lost its bargaining power to negotiate on behalf of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation’s (NBC) employees.

NBC director general Stanley Similo informed Napwu secretary-general Petrus Nevonga of the developments, adding that the union had three months to acquire a majority. Failure of which would leave it unable to perform its duties on behalf of the corporation’s employees.

“This letter serves to inform you that Napwu no longer holds the 50% plus one majority to qualify as the exclusive bargaining unit. Your union membership as of 1 June 2021 is 45.5%,” Similo wrote.

He added that Napwu had three months to get its membership back up to 51%.

“If at any time during the life of this agreement the union fails to represent the majority of staff members in the bargaining unit, the NBC may give the union notice in prescribed form to acquire a majority within three months; and if the union then fails to acquire that majority at the expiry of the said three months, the NBC shall be entitled to withdraw the recognition of the union and, in that event, this agreement shall cease to be force and effect,” Similo wrote.

Working on it

Speaking to Namibian Sun yesterday, Nevonga said it would be possible for Napwu to regain its bargaining power. "It is possible, these are issues that form part of our operations. We will have it rectified, but I may not mention how we will do it," he said.

The corporation’s employees recently staged an almost five-week-long strike in an effort to improve working conditions and get a salary hike.

NBC workers demanded an 8% salary increment, but the corporation has repeatedly said it is facing serious financial challenges this year due to the budget allocation of N$127.5 million, which represents a 62% reduction, compared to the previous financial year’s allocation of N$334.1 million.

A meeting between striking workers and Swapo-affiliated Napwu leadership ended in chaos on Friday, as the workers accused Nevonga of not working in their interest.

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