Three-year wage drought for farm workers relieved by 25% minimum wage increase
The minimum cash wage for unskilled and young farm workers has been increased by 25% and will come into effect on 01 November, following fruitful wage negotiations.
The last minimum wage review was only conducted in 2014 mostly as a result of persistent drought conditions that adversely affected agricultural production and profitability.
The new developments came as a result of wage negotiations between the Agricultural Employers Association (AEA), Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) and Namibia Farm Workers Union (NAFWU) which took place a fortnight ago.
According to the Employers Association, the minimum cash wage was increased from N$3.70 to N$4.62 per hour or N$900 per month for a worker who works 45 hours per week.
Furthermore, the negotiated wages for the farmers who do not supply free rations, will also see the ration allowance increase from N$400 to N$500 per month, while the total minimum basic wage for a farm worker’s value is thus now N$1400 per month.
The employers association said determining a minimum wage sets a benchmark for young, inexperienced workers entering the market.
Meanwhile, the Employers Association is of the opinion that unskilled workers on farms are better off than in other industries as farm workers usually get free housing, transport, medical services, rations, milk, water and fire wood while workers in other industries have to fork out a lot more.