Coca-Cola’s national strike rocks beverages industryBy: DENVER KISTING
A COUNTRYWIDE strike by Namibia Beverages employees threatens to disrupt the supply of soft drinks in Namibia.
About 380 workers went on strike yesterday after wage negotiations with the company reached deadlock this week.
Simon Muukapo, branch organiser of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Nafau), yesterday said the strike will continue until the company returns to the drawing board.
According to the union leader, the talks failed after the company refused to offer category one employees a N$1 745 per month increase on their basic salaries, which would have raised their salaries to N$3 500 a month.
These employees currently earn N$1 755 a month. The company was prepared to increase their salaries by N$275 per month.
Regarding the category two employees, the union wanted a 14 per cent increase of their basic salaries, which start at N$2 501 a month. Namibia Beverages was willing to give an 8, 5 per cent increase.
Muukapo yesterday afternoon said: “The negotiation doors are still open.”
Jaco van Zyl, the company’s human resources manager, declined to comment. Asked to what extent their operations have been affected and whether or not they plan to meet the union for further talks, he maintained: “Man, I have no comment.”
Van Zyl said the company stands by a press release issued yesterday.
In that statement, they admit that deadlock was reached during the annual wage negotiations. “Service delivery to our customers, throughout Namibia, will be affected and we apologise to our customers and consumers for the inconvenience caused.”
Namibia Beverages bottles Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes and Sparletta.