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Nedbank comments on union threats

Nedbank Namibia this week responded to union threats of industrial action stating that ongoing wage negotiations between the bank and the Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) have been dealt with in bad faith.
“The Bank recognises its employees as its single most important asset, being integral to the overarching successes of the bank, and has therefore proposed salary increases of 7% as well as N$800 in monthly transport allowances to the appointed employee representatives as its final negotiating position.

The 7% salary increase is an enhanced offer on the bank’s recent offer of 6.75%. Jointly, the key elements of the revised offer constitute an overall salary increase of 8.5%”, said Nedbank spokesperson Gernot de Klerk.
“The Bank has been negotiating with Nafinu is good faith on account of the common interest to offer the best possible remuneration package to our staff. However, our considered view is that the recent comments attributed to Nafinu in the media are by no means representative of the relationship between the bank and our staff, which has been built on fair and equatable considerations”.
Nedbank this week said it believes that the offer is more than reasonable given the current inflationary regime which hovers around the 3% mark, while it also represents the best salary offer extended by any entity in the country’s financial industry since the beginning of the year. Nedbank Namibia’s management has also been informed that Nafinu intends on conducting a ballot vote on possible industrial action in the short term, an action which the bank views as further proof that Nafinu acts contrary to the principles of good faith bargaining.
“The bank has subsequently informed Nafinu that such a ballot will not be conducted on the bank’s premises based on its considered opinion that such action is not only premature, but also irregular in terms of the tenets of the Code of Good Practice and it is furthermore incongruent with the resolution sought by both parties via the Office if the Labour Commissioner”, de Klerk further said.
“The bank recognises the intrinsic rights to institute industrial action and fully respects the rule of law prevailing in our country. For this reason, contingency measures have been implemented to lessen and mitigate client impact to the very best fo our abilities, in the event that Nafinu should commence with industrial action, should wage negotiations not deliver a mutually-acceptable outcome.”

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