Nam Dairies concludes wage deal

From the left seated: Fabian Hanhele; Stephanus Gariseb; Ruben Moses – Workers Council Chairperson; Sammel Kock. From the left standing: Sylvia Tjenao; Shikondjeleni P. Heita – Namibia Dairies Manager: Employee Relations; Bonifatius Moses; Borney Britz – Namibia Dairies Manager: Human Capital; Moika Garoeb; Ruusa Shivolo – Employee Relations TAP Student; Nikola Tinshmann – Namibia Dairies Manager: Finance; and Jason Shiweda.

Namibia Dairies and its in-house Workers Council signed a three-year wage agreement and conditions of employment agreement for employees in the bargaining unit (grade 1 to 6A) on 29 April.
Heita Shikondjeleni Manager, Employee Relations at Namibia Dairies said that they were happy with the outcome and that agreements could be reached despite the absence of a recognition agreement with the union.

“The signing of the 3-year wage negotiations and condition of employment with the Workers Council Members of Namibia Dairies on behalf of the employees in the bargaining unit is a tremendous success attributed to the healthy employer-employee relationship within the Company. This is testimony that agreements in the workplace can be achieved in the interest of both parties through relevant engagement by negotiating and at the same time maintaining a healthy productive and mutually trustworthy relationship. Over the last years we have become and remained the employer of choice and can say confidently that we employ passionate people who deliver amazing results on all levels.”
He went on to elaborate about the salary increases and benefits and advised they would be implemented as follows:
* 6% increase on monthly basic salary for employees in the bargaining unit (Grades 1 – 6A) with effect from 1 July 2015 until 30 June 2016.
* 6.5% increase on monthly basic salary for employees in the bargaining unit (Grades 1 – 6A) with effect from 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2017.
* 7% increase on monthly basic salary for employees in the bargaining unit (Grades 1 – 6A) with effect from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2018.
* 13th Cheque inclusive for the next three years effective December 2015, December 2016 and December 2017 respectively.
Namibia Dairies Manager: Human Capital, Borney Britz expressed his delight at the successful deliberations, “Namibia Dairies achieved a significant milestone by signing a new 3-year wage agreement two months before the new financial year. In the past, these negotiations were done through the Union representing the majority of employees and were almost never finalized before the implementation date. However, Namibia Dairies does not currently have a recognition agreement with any Union and as a result has for the past three years consulted directly with our employees through an Employee Elected Workers Council which shows that it is possible to nurture and grow a positive and productive employer-employee relationship.
One of the key success factors that contribute towards this are constant and open communication between management, the council as well as employees which was also evident as part of the negotiating process where the majority of the employees confirmed their satisfaction with the offer provided by the company.”
Sylvia Tjenao, a Workers Council Member said, “The wage negotiation has been successful, because of the good relationship between the company and the workers council. Although this journey presented itself with some challenges we have learnt a lot and have gained valued experience through the wage negotiations process.”
Another council member, Moika Garoeb remarked, “To the businesses, the Workers Council and the bargaining unit employees – well done on the signing of the next three years wage negotiations. After all, we are one!”