TransNamib holds out begging bowl
The acting CEO of the beleaguered railway parastatal says she is hopeful that the Ministry of Works and Transport will chip in with funds to help the distressed company meet its salary commitments going forward.
Eugenia Tjaronda told the Economist on Wednesday that they are hopeful that the line ministry will provide financial assistance otherwise the company will have to compromise on capital expenditure projects.
But despite the financial difficulties and the “unrealistic” scenario where “more than 50 cents for every N$1 earned go towards salary cost”, Tjaronda ruled out any redundancies as a way to ease the financial woes of the parastatal. In the unlikely event that retrenchment should take place in future, she said the principle of LIFO (last in, first out) will apply.
The acting CEO also ruled out any price increase to customers as “such a decision may contribute to further loss of business to road.”
Although Tjaronda could not shed light on the capex projects that were likely to be affected if funding from the works ministry was not forthcoming she however said implementation of the second phase of the new salary structure – which was meant to address anomalies with regard to seniority and years of experience – has been deferred until further notice.
TransNamib management was earlier this week forced to reach a compromise on salary increments following the intervention of the highest office in the country. On Tuesday TransNamib signed a settlement agreement with the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU) in which A and B Band employees got a 10% salary increment while employees falling within the C Band received a 7% salary adjustment.
As part of the agreement, 8% of the salary increase for A and B Band employees will be backdated to 16 June 2012 while the remaining 2% will be implemented on 16 December 2012. For C Band employees, 6% will be backdated to 16 June while the remaining 1% will be implemented with effect from 16 December.
Workers who had been calling for a 15% salary adjustment across the board, had threatened to go on strike starting this week if their demands were not met prompting President Pohamba to intervene saving the country from a potentially crippling strike.