Swakop Uranium inks wage agreement with Union
Swakop Uranium and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) signed a three-year Wage Agreement last week which will result in improved conditions of employment for the bargaining unit employees.
A series of negotiations had taken place since 22 October 2015. At the event, Erongo Regional Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua said: “Despite the fluctuating world economies, which impacts on Namibia, both parties proceeded to the signing of this historic agreement which paves the way for employees to have a better understanding and clarity of their conditions of employment for the next three years.”
The Governor further said “I am confident that this three-year agreement will set the tone for the rest of the country to enter into Smart Partnerships between employer and trade unions.”
National Union of Namibian Workers President, Ismael Kasuto said, “realistically, the agreement is in the interest of the workers as we were expecting lesser benefits due to the current volatile Uranium market and the fact that Husab is not in full production but still in the construction phase. If one compares your Agreement with similar industries you got a good deal especially the benefit guarantees as a result of a multi-year deal.”
Speaking on behalf of the employees, Jackie Karumbo, MUN SU Branch Chairperson said, “both sets of negotiating teams were caught between the expectations of employees and the shareholders. Bearing in mind the diverse objectives of the parties, which are the benefits of the workers versus running an operation at the least possible cost?”
“However, we managed to get here, since we had to get ourselves together. Critical thinking became the order of the day, analysing the bigger picture with the objective to establish principles that will benefit both parties, being the employees and the employer. These principles will be the foundation upon which benefits will be improved,” Karumbo said.
He said “We will push Swakop Uranium to become the best employer, making use of best practices and the statutes available to us in a fair, objective and mature manner.”
The parties have agreed to a 7% increase on base salary across the board for members in the Bargaining Unit, covering the period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018.
Percy McCallum, VP: HR and Business Support of Swakop Uranium, in conclusion said, “Swakop Uranium shareholders and management are applauding the three year wage agreement between the Company and MUN. Through the three year wage deal, the Company supports the National Agenda of the Government in terms of poverty alleviation. The Company is also assisting towards reducing unemployment as the Company will be one of the biggest employers in the country as we will employ 1653 full time employees.”
McCallum added that, “the three year wage agreement provides an opportunity to the Company and the employees to build Swakop Uranium through hard work in a world class mining company, based on safety, cost-effective and eco-friendly manner for the benefit of all our stakeholders”.