Novanam factory hit by a wage strike

Novanam factory hit by a wage strike

A WAGE strike at a Luederitz fishing company has entered a third day after management and the fishermen’s union failed to reach agreement.

Hundreds of fish factory workers at NovaNam, a member of the Pescanova Group, who gathered at the company’s main gate on Saturday, vowed not to return to work until the company agreed to meet their demands. No incidents of violence have been reported since the strike started.Namibia Seamen and Allied Workers’ Union (Nasawu) President, Paulus Hango told The Namibian that several meetings since last Monday had failed to resolve the wage dispute.Workers are demanding a five per cent wage increase, effective from this month.They also want a bonus of N$850 for all workers.The management agreed to the five per cent increase, but rejected the N$850 bonus.The company is prepared to pay a N$700 bonus, but only if the wage increase is effective from May.The workers also want 72 casual workers employed at the company for the past two years to be hired on a full-time basis.Hango accused the company of failing to implement agreements it had entered into with the union.He said the company and union had reached an agreement between 2004 and 2005 to permanently employ temporary workers who had been in service for more than two years, but it had failed to honour the agreement.NovaNam Human Resource Manager David Pokolo declined to comment and referred The Namibian to the company’s Managing Director, Angel Tordesilas, when contacted on Thursday.Attempts to reached Tordesilas at his Cape Town office proved futile.A labour consultant who represented the company during the wage negotiations also declined to comment.No incidents of violence have been reported since the strike started.Namibia Seamen and Allied Workers’ Union (Nasawu) President, Paulus Hango told The Namibian that several meetings since last Monday had failed to resolve the wage dispute.Workers are demanding a five per cent wage increase, effective from this month.They also want a bonus of N$850 for all workers.The management agreed to the five per cent increase, but rejected the N$850 bonus.The company is prepared to pay a N$700 bonus, but only if the wage increase is effective from May.The workers also want 72 casual workers employed at the company for the past two years to be hired on a full-time basis.Hango accused the company of failing to implement agreements it had entered into with the union.He said the company and union had reached an agreement between 2004 and 2005 to permanently employ temporary workers who had been in service for more than two years, but it had failed to honour the agreement.NovaNam Human Resource Manager David Pokolo declined to comment and referred The Namibian to the company’s Managing Director, Angel Tordesilas, when contacted on Thursday.Attempts to reached Tordesilas at his Cape Town office proved futile.A labour consultant who represented the company during the wage negotiations also declined to comment.

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