Still no end in sight for strike at Lüderitz Protea Hotel

KEETMANSHOOP; The staff of Protea Hotel Sea-View Zum Sperrgebiet in Lüderitz are still on strike.

The 10 hotel employees picket outside in front of the hotel every day since 17 September when they downed tools.

The Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (NAFAU) representative Jacob Penda told Nampa on Thursday that the strike, now in its second week, will continue until the demands of the workers are met.

The hotel employees have asked for a total increase of N.dollars 550 each – a salary increase of N.dollars 200 – and increases on their housing allowance of N.dollars 150; medical allowance of N.dollars 100; and transport allowance of N.dollars 100.

United Africa Group (UAG), the owner of the Protea group of hotels, agreed only to a hike in transport allowance of N.dollars 110.

At the start of the strike, UAG representative, Graham Howard told this agency the company could do nothing to avert the strike, saying financial difficulties hampered creating the outcome the workers would prefer.

Penda, meanwhile, indicated that NAFAU had approached Howard to discuss solutions to the strike, but Howard respondent, saying they cannot negotiate while the strike was in progress.

The unionist reiterated that the strike would not end until the staff issues are resolved.

“Striking was a last resort. We gave the company ample time to discuss as per regulations. We followed all the routes to negotiate first; we gave ample notice for the strike and the company did nothing up to now,” Penda said.

When contacted for comment, Howard simply said: “The hotel is closed. I have no comment.”