Construction workers’ wages set to increase

WALVIS BAY

10 November 2017 | Labour

Negotiations for the increase of construction workers’ wages which have been waging since April this year, have finally come to an end.

The salaries of all construction workers will increase with 5,6% in 2018.

This follows a collective agreement reached between the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers’ Union (Manwu) and the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia on Tuesday.

Although the union had asked for a 13% increase, employers had offered only 2,5% during negotiations.

The secretary-general of Manwu, Justina Jonas-Emvula, said in Walvis Bay recently that both parties later compromised and settled for 5,6%.

The previous minimum wage for construction workers in Namibia was gazetted on 31 December 2015 at N$14,59 per hour. With the new salary increase, construction workers can expect to be paid N$15,41 per hour or about N$2 465,60 per month (excluding overtime).

Jonas-Emvula said the next wage increase for 2019 and 2020 will be negotiated after the end of the 2018 financial year.

“Here we will then negotiate for a two-year agreement as we always do. For now we settled for one year because the economy is not doing well,” she said.

The collective agreement will be submitted to the ministry of labour, industrial relations and employment creation for the minister to process it and Manwu is hopeful of having it gazetted by 31 December.

“This is so that workers can get paid their 5,6% by January. We then call on all employers and employees to look out for the new adjustments in 2018,” she said.

Jonas-Emvula also called on government to seriously empower the local contractors and avoid giving major contracts to foreign investors.

“We repeat again, Namibia has reputable and experienced local contractors, who can do mega projects. Opportunities must be given to them without undermining them,” she said.

This will be in the interest of Namibian workers who will be assured of long-term employment as opposed to the current situation, where some foreign contractors import workers, machinery and export profits.

- Nampa and own report

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