THE president of the Namibia Cabin Crew Union, Reginald Kock stated that currently as it stands government might back out of its 12-month ex-gratia salary payment promised to Air Namibia employees.
Speaking to Informanté, Kock gave his reaction to the recent liquidation of the national airline and explained that an ex gratia payment is made out of an employer’s own discretion and is not obligated by law.
“How will this payment be guaranteed? The government might payout for a few months, the Cabinet would be reshuffled and the newly appointed authorities could disagree, we are looking at ways of guaranteeing these payments. We are happy, it’s a very generous offer, however, it needs to be guaranteed,” Kock stated.
He further added that the union has raised a case of lost human capital and urges that government agencies or ministries absorbing some of the technically skilled unemployed Air Namibia employees. He added that the union is also busy ensuring that the licenses of cabin crew members are renewed in order for them to qualify in any market.
He said that the closure of the national airline will have numerous effects on the aviation sector, and raised concerns that WestAir might now monopolise the local flight market. He further added that the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority would also have to cut back on employees.
“We can’t accept excuses given by the minister. The government appoints management, government signs off on which routes the airliner would travel. The ministry of finance never ever even suggested to Air Namibia to cut its wage bill,” Kock said.