THE Al-Dhahra and NDC Date Palm Development company at the Naute Dam in the //Karas Region, says that it does not have funds to commit for a meaningful increment of workers’ wages, therefore, it is offering only a 3% wage increment.
As Informanté reported earlier, Al-Dhahra employees were complaining about bad working conditions and were demanding an increase in their wages.
They accused the company of exploiting workers and of keeping them under inhuman working and living conditions.
In the meantime, the company wrote a letter to the trade union that represents its workers, the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau), announcing a 3% salary increment.
The company gave multiple reasons why it cannot afford more than 3%. The reasons include an “exceptional flood” that damaged its farm causing substantial costs; the COVID-19 pandemic that affected its export earnings and a decline in market supply.
The company says that despite the above, employees’ salaries were not cut. Rather, the workers were paid annual bonuses in January 2021.
In its letter to Nafau, Al-Dhahra declared its willingness to resolve “this matter” amicably to the benefit of both parties.
“We do not have funds to commit for increases, but we are mindful of the fact that we must look after our employees. For this reason, our offer will be 3% on basic salary. We can only give what we have,”
Al-Dhahra, a United Arab Emirates-based company, entered into a joint venture with the NDC for a date palm project which started a decade ago, creating over 300 jobs.
The project is located about 40 km south of Keetmanshoop.
It exports dates to Europe and the Middle East.