By Simon Liseli
The Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) workers in Zambezi and the rest of Namibia are on stay away strike, demanding their salary increment for the past three (3) years.
Their trade union Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) started salary increment negotiations last year December 2020 where it was agreed on six (6) percent increment.
The six percent increment was accepted by workers and was supposed to be received in December but it did not materialize.
According to the aggrieved worker who opted to remain anonymous and who spoke on behalf of other workers at NBC Ňywanyi FM Radio Station in Katima Mulilo, said that they did not bother to ask for their increment because they understood that the company did not have money but surprisingly last year (2020) members of the management paid themselves performance bonuses amounting to N$ 4,5 million Namibian dollars.
The Union and workers demanded that NBC is having money, and therefore workers should be considered to be paid an increment every year.
“We are surprised if that was performance bonuses we also demand for our shares as workers on the ground, managers cannot perform without us ground workers” claimed the concerned worker.
Discontented workers claim that the last increment they received was in 2018 and that increment was for the year 2017.
They said if they won’t receive their increment or receive something positive, they will stay away from work until further notice. “As we talk now the building is locked, we are not even allowed to get inside or use toilets because NBC don’t want”.
About ten (10) NBC workers for Ňywanyi FM are still contract workers for the past seven years, only two producers and the station manager are permanently employed.
“Every year we used to ask why workers are not permanently employed but we do not get satisfactory answer, the only answer we are given is no money when they will be money those on contract will be absorbed” they noted.
Ňywanyi FM workers have expressed their apology to listeners for the inconvenience caused by the company as everything is beyond their control.
“We love them they should be just patient; life has become tough to us that’s is why we took this route, a happy employ is a productive one, even when you hear us on radio, we are not happy” they added.
Broadcasters of the station are also demanding for modern equipment because they are still using ancient equipment that they have described to be a problem for programming and broadcasting.
They further pointed out that poor management supervision between floor workers and top management has also become a problem as it brings inefficiency among themselves.
In the official NBC media release on the current industrial action issued by the Chairperson of the board Mr. Lazarus Jacobs states that “at this juncture linked to wage increase demands challenges given that the 62% cut subsidy as announced by the ministry of finance donates a N$206 million annual reduction in subsidy, from N$334 million for the financial year 2020/2021 to N$127 million for the financial year 2021/2022.”