Nedbank says union no longer represents majority of employees

Nedbank Namibia spokesperson Gernot de Klerk says the Namibia Financial Institutions Union is not recognised as the exclusive bargaining agent of all of the bank’s employees within its bargaining unit.

De Klerk said this on Thursday in response to a statement in which the Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) accused the bank of being “a terrible employer”.

Nafinu general secretary Asnath Zamuee charged at a media briefing in Windhoek that the bank has refused to engage the union on employees’ matters and had terminated the union’s recognition agreement.

Responding to Zamuee’s claims, De Klerk said the relationship between Nedbank Namibia and Nafinu had been guided by an interim recognition agreement signed in November 2010.

He said in the agreement, the union was recognised as a bargaining agent of its members within a certain bargaining unit.

“In accordance with the stipulations of the interim recognition agreement, […] the agreement itself is automatically terminated once the union no longer has majority membership in respect of the bargaining unit,” he said.

He said Nafinu was informed on 24 May that the stipulated automatic termination had come into effect.

“We acknowledge that a dispute of interest has been registered by Nafinu on behalf of its members with the Office of the Labour Commissioner for conciliation. We await the commencement of the matter and will participate in the process,” he said.

De Klerk added that the bank is asserting and reserving its rights in connection with statements made that it regards as being intended to cause significant reputational harm to it.

“Some of these matters are currently under legal review, and given its malicious intent and false assertion of fact, will be dealt with through legal recourse,” De Klerk stated.

“We maintain that we have always conducted ourselves in a respectable manner and with due regard to the well-being of our employees, having offered a salary increase of 7%, excluding additional value and benefits, that is above the current inflation rate of 6,1%, which was summarily dismissed by Nafinu based on their demand of 10%,” he added.

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