A countrywide demonstration by impatient employees to express dissatisfaction with a lull in wage negotiations between the labour union of Namibia Wildlife Employees and senior management of the state owned enterprise has been postponed for a week.
The Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) scheduled the national demonstration today in such a way that it would have lasted no longer than two hours, however the management of the State Owned Enterprise was officially informed earlier that the demonstration was postponed until the 13th of February.
According to Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, NWR corporate communications and online media manager, the senior management of NWR and NAPWU have been engaged in wage negotiations aimed at improving the livelihood of its employees for the past few months.
“However, due to some pending matters, the negotiations have taken longer than anticipated and have required patience and understanding from both parties.”
Nesongano said in an official statement that it is unfortunate that on 31 January 2019 NWR received a letter from its union partner of a planned peaceful demonstration that is set to start on Thursday and is to take place at all NWR offices and resorts. The demonstration at the Head Office and the Swakopmund reservation office would have taken place during lunchtime while at the resorts it would have occurred between 14:30 – 16:30.
“Between the time of receiving the letter and 6 February 2019, our management team has been engaged in all efforts aimed at averting the demonstration. It is just unfortunate that our efforts did not yield the desired results”, Nesongano said.
Upon receiving notification of the planned mass action by employees NWR Managing Director, Zelna Hengari, said: “I would like to put it on record that we are not against our employees receiving what is due to them. Management continues to negotiate in good faith according to the mandate it received from the board. We, therefore, look forward to resolving this situation and any other disputes with our union partner as amicable as possible.”
Hengari assured tourism partners and guests that NWR did indeed put contingency plans and measures in pace that would ensure that they receive the service they paid for.