Poly cleaners want more benefits
Cleaners at the Polytechnic of Namibia have expressed concern over poor working conditions as well as low salaries. The cleaners, who work for Industrial Cleaning Services CC which signed a contract with the institution to provide cleaning services, say they do not receive any benefits from the company.
“We feel as if we are working for nothing,” said one of the workers.
“We want to work directly for the Polytechnic, maybe that way we will earn a better salary with more benefits and even a pension,” said Petrush Tomas, who is also an employee of Industrial Cleaning Services.
He further said that at the end of every month, his payslip shows that there has been a deduction for Social Security, however, he is not sure where the money goes to because he does not have a Social Security card or number which proves that he is registered.
General manager of Industrial Cleaning Services, Ms Kohema, said that she was not aware of what was going on and why the workers were complaining when she was contacted by the Economist.
According to Kohema, the company has a one year tender with the Polytechnic and therefore the salaries of the workers canot be increased unless the institution increases the amount paid to Industrial Cleaning Services.
“I cannot do anything that is not in the contract, we operate according to our agreement with Polytechnic,” she said.
The workers also complained that they work overtime and do not get paid for it, however, Kohema stated that the employees work for 195 hours per month and are given transport allowances of N$350 per month. This is added to their salaries according to their job descriptions . According to her general workers get N$ 820, assistant supervisors N$ 1150 and senior supervisors N$ 1350.
She also stated that the company has a funeral policy for its employees with BONLIFE, something which the workers denied.
The workers also said they were uncertain of their future as they do not know what will happen once the contract ends, as they heard rumours that their basic salary will decrease from N$820 to N$600.
Most of the workers were afraid to be interviewed by this reporter due to a fear of being victimised. Those who agreed to an interview, asked for their names not to be mentioned.