AFTER spearheading a weeks-long strike at Shoprite that resulted in moderate wage increments for both permanent and casual workers, the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) has now turned its attention to the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) where wage negotiations between the employer and the trade union have reached a deadlock and a strike looms large on the horizon.
NAFAU is since Thursday conducting a ballot that will determine whether NFCPT workers would opt for, or against, a strike.
Approached for comment, NFCPT’s marketing and communications officer De Wet Siluka referred the reporter to NAFAU. “They are the ones representing the workers and must be in a position to tell you why there is a deadlock,” he said.
Trade unionist Primus Joseph explained that the wage negotiators failed to reach an agreement, but did not reveal how much the trade union is demanding and how much the employer is offering.
“The office of the Labor Commissioner was roped in as the mediator, but still no agreement could be reached. A certificate of an unresolved dispute was then issued,” he said.
According to him, the next logical step is to allow the workers to choose, through a secret ballot, whether to go on strike or to leave it there and try again next year.
He added: “When the workers opt for a strike, the rules of the strike are laid down and signed by both parties. After that, the workers and their representative union are given 48 hours to reconsider and reflect and use that period to notify the police and other stakeholders before the strike starts.”
The ballot is being conducted at all NFCPT outlets countrywide and the exercise is to be completed by Tuesday next week.
The NFCPT is a Government agency created in 2001 and mandated to promote fish consumption by making fish accessible and affordable.
It has fish distribution outlets countrywide, six of which are located in the five northern regions of Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, and Oshikoto.