Workers at the Cheetah Cement factory in Otjiwarongo are due to go on strike next week after company management failed to accept workers’ demands in wage talks.
In a statement to the media by company spokesperson Tabby Moyo on Sunday, it was said that Cheetah Cement and worker representatives had been involved in lengthy wage negotiations that did not yield positive results.
Moyo said that since the start of wage negotiations between the company and the Miners’ Union of Namibia (MUN) in October 2020, Cheetah Cement has agreed to make an 80% contribution to the employees’ medical aid fund premiums and a minimum monthly housing allowance of N$500 to all. employees.
“The company has also agreed to provide a salary increase of N$800 to all employees earning less than N$6,000 per month and a salary increase of N$500 to all employees earning more than N$6,000. Namibians per month,” Moyo said.
He added that Cheetah Cement, during the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that affected company operations, did not deduct money from employee salaries for not being at work.
The company’s employees are demanding a 9% salary increase and a 15% pension contribution at all levels.
Employees also require 100% medical aid coverage, which should include coverage for two dependents, and an increased monthly housing allowance of N$2,500 for all employees.
Initially, MUN had demanded a salary increase of N$2,000 for employees earning less than N$6,000 per month and N$1,500 for employees earning N$6,000 or more.
Moyo noted that the requested increases would result in an average increase of at least 45% in labor costs for the company, which he said was an unprecedented increase in the current Namibian economy.
He added that unrealistic demands and threats of industrial action were counterproductive and could lead to unwanted job losses.
Cheetah Cement managing director Kevin Lee told The Namibian that the company received strike notice from employees on Tuesday.