Air Namibia cabin crew strike on, declared legal by High Court

WINDHOEK: Air Namibia management were dealt a heavy blow on Thursday when the High Court decided that the work stoppage and demonstration planned by the company’s cabin crew today is indeed a legal strike.

Reginald Kock, President of the Namibia Cabin Crew Union (NCCU) told Nampa late Thursday that they were represented by lawyer Sisa Namandje “who did a good job in defending the interests of the NCCU and the workers” in the High Court hearing.

The hearing started at around 22h00 in A Court, and by 23h30 shouts of joy echoed down Independence Avenue as the High Court ruled that the planned strike was legal.

Kock said they will all meet on Friday in front of the Air Namibia Head Office in the capital where they will hold the strike in solidarity with the rest of the cabin crew members.

The strike is expected to start at 10h00 local time.

This reporter learnt from some of the crew members that there are still some three aircrafts on their way from places like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Frankfurt.

Once those aircrafts are in the country, all NCCU members will participate in the strike.

Air Namibia issued a statement on Thursday, saying: ‘It is regrettable that the union, despite all attempts by management to resolve this matter amicably, is persisting to proceed with the strike which will have dire consequences to the Nation, the airline and its employees.

The main issue which the union members are unhappy about, is the company’s decision to move from the Peromnes Job Grading system to the Patterson Job Grading System in 2009/10.

The cabin crew members have particularly been unhappy about the fact that their positions were graded in the B-band and not the C-band under the new Patterson Job Grading System.

The union and Air Namibia management have been fighting over this and other issues since Wednesday without finding any middle ground.