Employees of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation say though they are ecstatic to return to work, they are not entirely happy with the agreement reached by their union and their employer which led to calling off the strike.
The NBC strike which started on 22 April 2021 officially ended on Wednesday after the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) successfully negotiated with the NBC on some of the workers’ demands.
Speaking to Nampa under anonymity on Wednesday, an employee at NBC said through the strike, employees were crying to Government not only for financial assistance but also for structural assistance, however, some of their plights were not heard.
“We raised so many issues - mismanagement, corruption, board inadequacy and when we pointed out the evidence of allegations we made, nobody was really willing to take this bull by the horns. Hopefully, somebody will eventually hear our plights and truly give attention to NBC and its needs,” he said.
He said he is sceptical about the permanent employment offered to staff currently employed on contract basis, adding permanent employment without any benefits is the same as taking a short-term contract and turning it into a long-term contract.
“Unless there is really something tangible, what they are calling permanent employment really is just an extended contract and maybe the colleagues can now qualify to acquire loans given the longevity of the employment, but in essence, they will not have some of their basic needs such as medical aid and housing,” he said.
Nonetheless, he believes that something has been achieved through the strike “as a light has been lit” on issues within the national broadcaster, expressing hope the strike was not in vain.
Another employee shared similar sentiments, saying she feels that NAPWU has failed them as workers. She said she is happy to now be a permanent employee but at the same time feels that the negotiations were done in bad faith.
In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, NBC workplace union representative Daniel Nadunya also agreed, saying some workers still feel let down.
“We are happy in solidarity with our colleagues who will benefit from the demands that were met but at the same time there are those that are not happy and others that are neutral,” said Nadunya.
Despite the views of the employees, NAPWU in a statement issued by secretary-general Petrus Nevonga on Wednesday said the petition delivered to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila earlier this month yielded good results and in that the NBC subsidy could now be reviewed and improved to enable the corporation to operate optimally.
Source: Namibia Press Agency